Michael Owen to retire from football at the end of the season

The former Liverpool, Manchester United and England striker will hang up his boots after a storied career that saw him score 260 goals for club and country.

Michael Owen working at Stoke's training complex.
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Michael Owen, the former England and Liverpool forward, has confirmed he will retire from football at the end of this season.

The striker, who was told earlier this year he would not be offered a new deal by current side Stoke, will call time on a 17-year professional career that saw him score 260 goals for club and country.

"It is with an immense amount of pride that I am announcing my intention to retire," the 33 year old said today.

"I have been very fortunate in that my career has taken me on a journey I could only have dreamed of."

Owen's career saw him score 220 tiles at club level and a further 40 goals in 89 appearances for England, winning the English Premier League, FA Cup, Uefa Cup and three English League Cups.

The former World and European footballer of the year started his career at Liverpool, making his first team debut against Wimbledon on May 6 1997 - where he scored his first goal for the senior side.

He went on to become first choice striker for the Anfield side, helping them to an FA, League and UEFA Cup treble in 2001.

Owen moved to Real Madrid for £8m in 2004, but lasted just a season at the Bernabeau before moving to Newcastle for a club record fee of £16.8m.

The later years of his career were dogged by injury, but after four seasons at St James Park he was released on a free transfer and surprised many when he signed for Manchester United on a play as you play deal.

He made just 31 appearances over three seasons at Old Trafford, before leaving in the summer. Despite being linked with a move to the Pro League, he joined Stoke City, where he has made six appearances and scored one goal.

Owen burst onto the international scene in 1998, becoming the youngest player to represent England at the age of 18 years and 59 days old. That summer, he made a global effect with his performances for England at the World Cup in France, including a sensational goal against Argentina.

"I have been very fortunate in that my career has taken me on a journey that like many young players starting out, I could only have dreamt of," Owen said in his retirement statement.

"None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support I have received from managers, coaches, fellow players, back room staff, the supporters and my own personal sponsors.

"I would like to thank each and every one for the huge role they have played in helping me reach the top of my profession."

Watch Michael Owen's famous goal against Argentina below:

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