Nearly 12 years ago to the day, Michael Owen left his boyhood club, Liverpool, to become a Galáctico at Real Madrid.
In a move that should serve as a warning to other players seeking their dream transfer, life in Madrid wasn’t all it was cracked up to be for Owen. After the £8 million move, he and his family found it difficult to settle away from the pitch. Ultimately, they lasted only one season in Spain before returning to England.
Still, there were some highlights on the pitch for Owen. Alongside fellow Galácticos Ronaldo, Raul, Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham, Owen found it difficult to solidify his spot in the squad. Despite the heavy competition for places, he was a valuable member of the squad as a super-sub.
His defining moment in Madrid will forever be the goal he scored in El Clásico at the Bernabeu. Owen showed off the tremendous timing, pace and finishing that allowed him to score 118 Premier League goals with Liverpool prior to his Real Madrid move.
All in all, it’s difficult to deem Owen’s time in Spain either a failure or a success. He lasted only one season, managing to appear in 35 league matches for Los Galácticos. Owen started 20 games, was a sub 15 times, and scored 13 goals.
It would be interesting to see what would have happened if Owen stayed in Madrid to fight for his place. Instead, he returned to the Premier League with Newcastle United.
Despite a fabulous career, he was once one of the most promising players in the world after bursting onto the scene as a teenager.
Let us know what you think below. Can Michael Owen’s career be considered a success?