Michael Owen's announcement that he will retire from football at the end of the season brings to a close the playing career of one of England's most celebrated strikers. After bursting on to the professional scene at the tender age of 17, Owen was feted as one of the most exciting goal scorers in world football, netting memorable goals for club and country alike. His career highlights are as long as they are impressive, but rather than mention that goal against Argentina yet again, here we recall his alternative greatest moments.
After capturing global attention following his heroics at the 1998 World Cup, Owen faced an altogether less fearsome foe in the shape of a 13 year-old goalkeeper, being coached by Wales and Everton legend Neville Southall, in his 1999 Soccer Skills video. In typical Owen fashion, the sharpshooter made a mockery of the 'keeper, prompting Southall to defend his young protege. "Game, set and match Owen".
After leaving Real Madrid following just one season, Owen made the move north to Newcastle United. With the 2006 World Cup on the horizon, a mixed first year on Tyneside threatened his England chances. Owen however, overcame the doubters, announcing himself fit for selection. While he was “not 100% happy” with his foot - following complications from a metatarsal injury - he looked pretty tip-top controlling melons as he paraded around Asda.
The build up to the 2006 World Cup was a busy time indeed for Owen. When he wasn't spending his time knocking oversized fruits around supermarkets, he was enjoying some much needed recovery time living in a fan's cupboard.
After four tricky seasons on Tyneside, Owen found himself without a club. Speculation was rife as to where the once-prolific striker would end up, with many suggesting that his injury history would hinder him securing a new club. He became the butt of jokes after his management company released the 'Michael Owen brochure' in a bid to pitch their client to prospective parties. Once again, Owen got the last laugh, as Man United took a punt on him. Maybe Fergie was impressed with his punctuality?
Who knew that England's fourth most prolific international goal scorer was also a helicopter pilot? He certainly isn't a good actor, as this cringe-worthy advert promoting Dubai proved…
Michael Owen has earned a reputation as one of football's 'good guys', making a healthy living off of his squeaky-clean image and honest approach to the game. It was, therefore, such a shame to learn that he was caught in bed with a fan.
When he wasn't banging in goals or ferrying around Arab Sheiks, Michael Owen was passing on his knowledge to impressionable young kids. His appearance in the short-lived CBBC television series Hero to Zero - in which Owen emerged from a poster on a kid's wall - paved the way for a television career that now sees him grace the Match of the Day sofa. He no longer emerges from walls, however.
What's your favourite alternative Michael Owen moment? Let us know by commenting below.