Former England international Michael Owen spoke more openly about the times when he wanted to return to England from Real Madrid, he wanted Liverpool.
After we were able to know a more in-depth Michael Owen in the honest interview he gave last Sunday in English television, we also were able to know a little bit more about his failed return to Liverpool from Real Madrid. Back when the English international played for Los Blancos for a very short amount of time, Michael Owen became the biggest transfer flop in Florentino Perez’s career as the Spanish club’s president. By the time there was a chance for him to release the player from his contract, Owen himself had everything planned out to return to Liverpool but destiny will hand him a different outcome that he didn’t necessarily accept but he never had a say in it. The striker had even spoken to Spanish manager Rafael Benitez who was managing the Reds at the time and they agreed his return would be a good idea, but the transfer fee they offered was surpassed by another club that got in the middle of the negotiation.
"I had it in my contract that I could go back for a certain amount of money"
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 25, 2018
Talking to BT Sports during a long interview, Owen said the following: “In my mind, I thought ‘go to Madrid for two years’ and then come back. I even shook the chairman and chief executive’s hand and said ‘make sure you get me back’. It would have been my dream [to come back]. It didn’t happen and I don’t blame anyone. I met Rafa Benitez after a year and we had sorted everything out to come back. But I had gone for £8m and Liverpool wanted to buy me back for £10m, then Newcastle came in and offered £16m. The Real president knocked on my hotel room door and said ‘you are staying or you are going to Newcastle. I spoke to Liverpool and asked if they would match it but they said £10m was their maximum. At Newcastle, I had it in my contract that I could go back for a set amount. I agreed to go to Newcastle on the basis that I could still go back to Liverpool.”
Michael Owen was brilliant at Liverpool, unplayable at times! 👏👏
— Football Remind (@FootballRemind) August 25, 2018
For Owen not going back to Liverpool was a huge heartbreak because of his past as a Red, but football wouldn’t give him that luxury of wearing the shirt of his beloved club ever again. In fact, after his spell for Newcastle United, Michael Owen surprised everyone at Merseyside by signing a new contract for rival club Manchester United. But either way, the striker never really did get back to that amazing level that got him the 2001 Ballon d’Or as the best player in the world. If Owen would’ve returned to Liverpool, there is a very small chance that he would’ve made a big impact on the club. Not too long after Owen’s failed attempt to go back to Liverpool, Benitez signed Fernando Torres from Atletico Madrid and we all know how well that went during the Spaniard’s time with the Reds. Owen is one more of many examples of how life doesn’t always give you what you want, he explained how much he suffered throughout his career due to injuries.
— Oxígeno Bolivia (@oxigeno_bo) August 27, 2018
The reaction from Michael Owen’s interview.
After talking with such honesty about a subject that has always been taboo for Michael Owen, we now understand how complicated life as a professional was for him during the second half of his career. The impact that his heartfelt interview has had in the world of football has been massive, people now understand the hell that many players go through when they suffer a massive blow that an injury can produce in their careers. Owen was bound to become one of England’s most celebrated players in football history due to his talent alone, he was also supposed to stay at Liverpool and never go to Real Madrid but that injury he suffered pushed him to make a tough choice that changed his professional life forever. Today we still wonder what could have been if only Michael Owen hadn’t injured himself all those years ago, or what could have been if technology had been as advanced as it is today and he got surgery from that first ever injury. I guess we’ll never know.
What do you think could’ve happened if Michael Owen had returned to Liverpool after that short time at Real Madrid? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.