Michael Owen To Retire At Season’s End

Michael Owen announced on Tuesday that he will officially retire after the conclusion of the 2012-13 Premier League season.

The 33 year old, who is currently at Stoke City, played for some of Europe’s most elite clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid during what turned into an injury-plagued career.

Owen is the fourth-leading scorer in the history of the English national team with 40 goals to his name, only trailing luminaries like Gary Lineker, Jimmy Greaves and Bobby Charlton.

His most memorable moment for England came on September 1, 2001 when he scored three goals to lead the Three Lions to an emphatic 5-1 drubbing of bitter rivals Germany in a World Cup Qualifier in Munich.

Owen revealed that his decision to hang up his boots was an easy one and that he had absolutely no regrets during his career.

“It is with an immense amount of pride that I am announcing my intention to retire,” he said. “I have been very fortunate that my career has taken me on a journey that I could only have dreamed of.”

Owen scored on his debut for Liverpool’s senior side at the tender age of 17 and went on to become a legend at Anfield, netting 158 goals in 297 appearances for the club.

He also led the Reds to a treble in the 2000-01 campaign, lifting the FA Cup, UEFA Cup and League Cup. He would also win the prestigious Ballon d’Or in 2001 for his exploits with Liverpool.

Owen left the English outfit for Real Madrid in 2004 but he was often relegated to the bench and returned home a year later with Newcastle.

He spent four injury-laden seasons with the Magpies before moving to Manchester United where he lifted his only Premier League title in 2011.

Owen will be remembered for his heroics with the English national team and former team-mate Frank Lampard paid tribute to the diminutive dynamo.

“Fantastic player, the kind of player that you are proud to play alongside,” he said. “I think he will go down in our history in England as one of the greatest goal-scorers we’ve had.”

Michael Owen has made just six appearances for Stoke City this season, scoring one goal in the process.