Lionel Messi soccer player
Robinho number one soccer player
Full Name: Michael James Owen
Nickname: The "Boy Wonder"
Club: Newcastle United FC (England)
Height: 1,73 m
Weight: 70 Kg
Birth Date: 14/12/1979
Birth Place: Chester (England)
Club Career: Liverpool FC (England), Real Madrid (Spain), Newcastle
United FC (England)
The player's story is every schoolboy's dream; his has been a
magical ride equalled only by that of Harry Potter. At 18, he became
the youngest player ever to play for England, then the youngest to
score for England, then the youngest Englishman to play in a World
Cup. Even Brazilian soccer god Pele said of him: "My favourite
player is Michael Owen." Boy Wonder indeed.
But since his early days Michael has consistently proved he is also
more than that. He bounced back from a devastating hamstring injury
to score a hat-trick against old rivals Germany when England
historically triumphed 5-1 in a World Cup qualifier in September
2001. And he went on to become the first England player to score
three goals against Germany since Sir Geoff Hurst in the 1966 World
Cup final, demonstrating that Boy Wonder had come of age.
Michael was born in Chester, England, on December 14, 1979, to
parents Terry and Janette, and grew up in the family home just
across the border in Hawarden, North Wales. Football was in his
blood; Michael's father was a professional player at, among other
clubs, Everton. Had Terry known his son would end up playing for
arch-rivals Liverpool, perhaps he would have pushed him in a
different direction. But dad recognised his son's talent and allowed
him to attend the Football Association's School of Excellence at
Lilleshall in Staffordshire from the age of 14.
Keeping up his studies at Hawarden High School, Michael earned ten
GCSEs, but despite the academic success he knew where his future
lay. On his 17th birthday he signed on as a full professional and a
year later he was playing for Liverpool and making his debut for the
Triumph after triumph followed. Michael's wonder goal against
Argentina in the France '98 World Cup tournament firmly launched him
on the international stage, and later the same year he was voted BBC
Sports Personality Of The Year. Then, in the 1998/1999 season he
suffered every striker's nightmare – the hamstring injury that was
to mar his game for the next two years.
Recovery was slow, but he proved resilient. In December 2001, after
a series of blistering performances – including the one against
Germany – Michael was named European Player of the Year; the first
England player to win the accolade since Kevin Keegan in 1979. Four
months later the player stood in for an injured David Beckham as
England captain, becoming the youngest captain in 40 years. In June
he was at the forefront of England's World Cup team for the World
Cup in Korea and Japan. Although they didn't win, the team defied
the odds by making it to the quarter finals.
In August 2004 Owen made the surprise move to Real Madrid. The
Spanish club paid around £8 million for the striker and Michael
seemed overjoyed with the new challenge. "My Dad has been telling me
about the great Real Madrid teams of the 1960s," he said at the
presentation ceremony in the famous Santiago Bernabeu stadium. "Gento
was the quickest No 11 he had ever seen. Today I'm so proud to be
wearing his No 11 shirt."
Despite scoring plenty of goals for the Spanish giants, Owen
struggled to find a regular place on the team. And by August 2005
Michael made a return to the English Premiere League alongside
friend Alan Shearer at Newcastle Utd. "I need to be playing
regularly in World Cup year," confessed the diminutive star. "But I
have really enjoyed being part of the Real Madrid team."
Success hasn't gone to Michael's head, however. At heart he is a
family man – he famously paid out £750,000 to buy his parents and
two siblings a row of houses in the same street so they could be
close to each other.
And the player has stayed loyal to his first love, Louise Bonsall.
The two met at infant school in Deeside, and now live in a £1.6
million Tudor country estate and Manor House near the village of
Northop, five miles from Michael's childhood home. In 2003, Michael
and Louise became proud first-time parents, with the birth of a
little girl, Gemma Rose. Two years later, the couple tied the knot
in a romantic ceremony in Wales. And in 2006, their joy was added to
with baby James Michael's arrival.