Michael Owen explains why he never returned to Liverpool after his spell at Real Madrid

Michael Owen speaking on BT Sport

Footballers don't come much more naturally gifted than Michael Owen.

Back in the late 1990's and early 2000's, few strikers in the world were as devastating as the England and Liverpool man.

Owen was the last English player to win the coveted Ballon d'Or when he scooped the award in 2001 and he scored 158 goals in 297 appearances during his time on Merseyside.

Sadly, his career was hampered by hamstring injuries in the latter stages, leading to a premature retirement while at Stoke in 2013.

One of the biggest moments in his career was when he opted to trade Anfield for the Bernabeu back in 2004, signing for Real Madrid along with David Beckham.

He rarely started during his one year in Spain, but he still scored a few goals, including in an El Clasico against Barcelona.

But when it was clear that he was never going to be the main man for Los Blancos, the general consensus was that he would return to Liverpool.

It didn't happen, with Newcastle splashing £16m on him instead and he then joined Liverpool's bitter rivals Manchester United in 2009.

Owen during his days with Newcastle

So what really happened back in 2005? Well, Owen finally gave his side of the story speaking on BT Sport.

OWEN HAS HIS SAY

The former striker explains that there was an agreement in place with Rafa Benitez for him to return, but that Newcastle simply outbid the Reds.

Liverpool were only willing to spend £10m, the Magpies offered £16m. Real Madrid didn't need convincing.

However, the reaction from fans was certainly mixed towards Owen, with many lamenting his decision to then join United on a free transfer.

FANS HAVE THEIR SAY

You can understand why most fans are not in a forgiving mood.

The move to Newcastle could have easily been eradicated from their minds, but opting to join United was always going to do serious damage to his Liverpool reputation.

Owen can say he loved the club, but it's hard to win back fans after donning the enemy's jersey, especially after signing on a free transfer.

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