Revelation in Liverpool, Golden Ball, transfer to Manchester United … Owen’s confessions


On the occasion of the England derby between Liverpool and Manchester United this Sunday (5.30 p.m.), Michael Owen, who worked for both clubs, spoke to RMC Sport. The former England striker returned to his debut for Liverpool, his Ballon d’Or won in 2001 and his choice to join the Reds Devils, the Reds’ big rivals.

He is one of those players who wore Liverpool and Manchester United jerseys. Two great rivals who meet again this Sunday (5.30 p.m. on RMC Sport) for a much-awaited shock on the occasion of the 19th day of the Premier League. Before this meeting, Michael Owen spoke at length in an interview with RMC Sport. The former England international, retired since 2013, looked back on his years at Liverpool (1995-2004), the club that trained him and taught him everything.

How he lived his Golden Ball

« It was the first club I visited and I felt right at home. I told my dad I wanted to sign for Liverpool, I didn’t want to see another club. I had a lot of confidence. in my abilities. But off the pitch, I was very calm, shy and respectful. Young people can make mistakes when they arrive in the first team. Me, when I entered the pitch, I did not have scared, I know myself, I’m good enough, « he says.

On the banks of the Mersey, Owen notably won the UEFA Cup and the European Super Cup in 2001. That year, he also won the Golden Ball at just 22 years old. A consecration for this more than complete attacker, as fast and technically gifted as a killer in the opponent’s area.

Why he signed for Manchester United

« One day, we were playing in Italy in Rome, there were no phones and Phil Thompson from Kick Off told me to come. He gave me a cell phone. I was not very calm (laughs). He told me. that the manager (Gérard Houllier) is on the phone. (…) And he said to me: ‘You can’t tell anyone, you just won the Golden Ball.’ I didn’t even know what it was. I said, ‘OK, great, thanks.’ He said to me: ‘Do you know what this is?’ And I said: ‘not really.’ He said to me: ‘He’s the European player of the year and you were named the best player.’ I said, ‘Oh fantastic! But I have to admit I hung up the phone after a few minutes.’ It’s not that I didn’t appreciate it, I was just (focused) on the next trophy. I didn’t really understand its meaning. (…) It’s only today when I look at the trophy that I tell me that it is surely the most beautiful of my whole career « , he confides.

His career was also marked by his stint at Manchester United (2009-2012), not necessarily well experienced by Liverpool supporters. “As you can imagine, the first thing I did was pick up my phone, I called Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. I asked them to speak to Brendan Rodgers to find out if there was had a place for me (in Liverpool). But times had changed, they bought (Fernando) Torres, then (Luis) Suarez came in. It just never was a good time to come back. I can look at myself in looking in the mirror, I tried several times to join Liverpool when I had the chance. (…) Why should I apologize? I offered my help to Liverpool and it did not happen. I put things in perspective and I said to myself that I was going to piss off people, but we only have one life, one career. « 

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