Liverpool fans have hit back at Michael Owen after the retired striker told reporters he still sees himself as a Red.
The 35-year-old, who spent a total of 13 years at Anfield before joining Real Madrid in 2004, will represent a Liverpool FC Legends side against Real Madrid Legends at the Bernabeu on Sunday.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Owen said he associates himself with Liverpool despite having also played for Real Madrid, Newcastle United and, of course, fierce rivals Manchester United.
Owen tarnished his Liverpool legacy by joining the Red Devils in 2009 - and some fans aren’t happy with the former England international’s latest comments.
“It’s always great to put on the red shirt,” Owen said. “I’ve said many times before I still associate myself (with Liverpool), when I look back.
“If someone asked me to name one team that I played for throughout my career, I see myself as a Liverpool player.
“It feels like the norm putting on a red shirt but, having not done so probably since the Hillsborough memorial game, it’ll be pretty special.”
Liverpool fans hit back
This prompted a backlash on social media, with a number of unhappy Liverpool fans voicing their anger.
“Hahahaha... Deluded as hell,” wrote one user. “Never ever a Red now. He never cared enough to be a Legend.”
Another tweeted: “Shame we don't want you. Glory hunting Judas.”
While another summed up the general feeling by posting: “The day he put in a Manc shirt he lost all the adulation and respect I had for him. He's not one of us. I don't see a LFC player.”
Owen scored 158 goals in 297 matches for Liverpool - and even won the Ballon d’Or in 2001 - but his decision to accept Sir Alex Ferguson’s offer six years ago ultimately cost him the respect of the fans who once adored him.
Liverpool fans: how do you feel about Michael Owen? Does he deserve respect? Have your say in the comments below!