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Michael Owen

Soccer Player

Born: 14 December 1979
Birthplace: Chester, England
Best known as:

English hero of the 1998 World Cup

Michael Owen made England's 1998 World Cup squad at age 18, becoming the youngest national team member in 100 years. His mad goal-scoring dash through the Argentina defense was England's proudest moment in that year's Cup. (England later lost the game after Owen's fellow star David Beckham was red-carded out of the match.) Michael Owen quickly became an international star, renowned for his speed and killer instinct around the goal. Owen was named European Footballer of the Year in 2001, and in 2002 he rejoined Beckham on the English national team which defeated Argentina before being knocked out by Brazil. However, a hamstring injury he suffered in 1999 slowly took its toll, and although he had a long career he was never quite the same speedy player he was in his late teens. He played professionally for Liverpool from 1996-2004 before signing a contract to play for the Spanish professional team Real Madrid (2004-05). He then jumped to the British club Newcastle United, where he played from 2005-09. Then he joined Manchester United from 2009-12 before finishing his career at Stoke City (2012-13). He announced in March of 2013 that he would retire at the end of that year's professional season.

Extra credit:

His father, Terry Owen, also played soccer professionally... Michael Owen played in the 2006 World Cup but was lost to a knee injury during a 2-2 tie with Sweden in the tournament's opening round... Owen has lived nearly all his life in Hawarden, Wales, but was born over the border in Chester, England; as a result he plays for England in international competition... Michael Owen married his longtime girlfriend, Louise Bonsall, in June of 2005. Owen and Bonsall first met in primary school.  Their children include daughters Gemma Rose (born 2003), Emily May (b. 2007) and Jessica (b. 2010) and son James Michael (b. 2006)... He is not related to Michael Owen, the great Welsh rugby player who was born in 1980.

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