Michael Owen has announced his decision to retire at the end of the current Premier League season.

The former-Liverpool and Manchester United striker was a great player at club level, an FA Cup winner, a UEFA cup winner, a Premier League and League Cup victor.

But his defining moment will always be associated with the international stage. That goal, as a fresh-faced 18-year-old at the 1998 World Cup, was the beginning of a promise that some feel remains unfulfilled.

He tore Argentina apart, and he looked like he would become the player to fire England to glory in future competitions. If not 1998, then certainly 2002 and 2004.

But, as Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard and Theo Walcott have since found out, it rarely works out that way.

Still, Owen has enjoyed a spectacularly successful international career - he's fourth on England's list of all-time top scorers, behind Jimmy Greaves, Gary Lineker and Sir Bobby Charlton.

In his prime he was a lethal finisher. A rare combination of pace and guile. A fox in the box, but capable of so much more as well.

His record of 40 goals in 89 England appearances (0.45 goals-per-game) is hugely impressive, and one of the best in the game.

But we're only concerned with the top goalscorers in this article - the creme de la creme of the forward fraternity. To qualify as one of the most lethal goalscorers, under GMF rules you must have scored at least 50 international goals. Sorry Michael, you just miss out here.

To whittle it down a bit further, we're only concerned with active players with 50 strikes, and we'll be looking at their goals-per-game records to determine the most lethal in front of goal. Remember, this is only strikers with a least a half century of goals.

So, here's your top five...

Topics:
Internationals
Football
Michael Owen