Michael Owen, former Liverpool and Manchester United striker, has announced his retirement from football at the end of this season.

Michael OwenAlthough it shouldn’t really come as a surprise considering how his career has been badly affected by injuries, but many would feel that he was destined for much greater things than what he has achieved in his career. We are talking a about a player who has won the Ballon d’Or, and would possibly remain the last English man to do so for a long time given Messi and Ronaldo’s dominance, yet injuries and questionable career moves has critically affected his career.

But for most of the fans, he was one of the best strikers of his generation when on song. He leaves behind memories, like the night he announced his arrival on to the big stage with ‘that’ goal against Argentina or his hat trick against Germany, to cherish for the rest of life. Most of the Liverpool fans might have hated him for his move to Manchester United, but his contribution to the red half of Mersey side is unquestionable.

It was an emotional day for the former England international as he announced his decision to retire from the game, after making just six appearances for current club Stoke City this season. Michael Owen released a statement on his website, where he thanked his managers, coaches and most importantly his family.

“It is with an immense amount of pride that I am announcing my intention to retire from Professional Football at the end of this season.

Having progressed through the ranks at Liverpool to make my first team debut at 17, before embarking upon spells at Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City,
not to mention representing my country on 89 occasions, I now feel it is the right time to bring the curtain down on my career.

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.

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.

Most of all though, I would like to thank my family. To my beautiful wife Louise, for her continued love and support through the many ups and downs in my career and for affording me the most precious gift of all, our children.

To my Mum who has always taken the brunt of my frustrations yet continues to keep our family so tight-knit, a trait that has formed the foundations of my own success. Her dedication to me and my brothers and sisters is immeasurable. I’d like to thank Terry, Andy, Karen and Lesley for being so understanding and creating the perfect environment to grow up in. Last but not least, my Dad. We did it my old mate! From those freezing local parks to terrorising the best defenders in the World on the biggest stages of all. I couldn’t have done it without you”. – Owen wrote.

While a lot of fans took to twitter to troll about his retirement, for many Owen remains their childhood hero, the man who made them fall in love with this beautiful game during his days at Liverpool. Fellow footballer are pouring in tribute to this man and it is a testimonial to how much he is was respected and revered among his fellow professionals. Here are some of the tweets –