For many people new to football, Michael Owen is a name synonymous with injury. He hasn't played much in the last few years, and has always had a lot of hype surrounding him. I'm writing this after England's 3-0 victory over Russia (massive win for the lions, now securely in 2nd place for Euro 2008). For the last 3 years or so, Michael Owen has been stuck in injury hell. I think it is almost safe to say that he has fully returned to full form, and he's been showing so on the pitch. In his last 5 matches for club and country he has scored 6 goals.
Owen's career started at Liverpool, which fit because he was from Merseyside (he was raised through the Liverpool system, signing a "school boy" deal at age 13). I think this has a lot to do with his hero status, as Liverpool are one of the most beloved teams in the world. He signed on to the senior Liverpool squad at age 17, scored a goal in his first match as a substitute against Wimbledon, and hasn't really looked back since. He spent 8 years at Liverpool, and over 216 appearances with the Reds, he scored 118 goals. He went on to spend an extremely unsuccessful season at Real Madrid, where things never clicked, and was then signed by Newcastle United. I'm pretty sure he got off the plane at Newcastle Airport, and was injured immediately. He's only appeard 17 times for Newcastle, and scored 8 times. It'd be tough to defend his record with the Magpies, but I still hold hope that the Michael Owen of old will return.
The real legend of Michael Owen comes from his performance on the International level. He has started at 4 different major tournaments, Euro 2000, 2004, and World Cup 2002, 2006. He's scored in each of those tournaments aside from World Cup 2006. Also, he is 4th on the list of all time England goal-scorers. Add to this the fact htat he is only 27, and he has even missed the last year and a half, that is all pretty impressive. People remember him for his form against Germany in the 5-1 drubbing in Munich. Or the fact that he was the only one to ever show up for England in their 2002 Quarterfinal against Brazil. He is an absolute legend for what he has done for the Three Lions. He also has 85 caps, and that puts him only 15 short of that 100 plateau.
To see Michael Owen finally returning to form is really a huge boost for England and Newcastle fans. He has always been and always will be a fan favorite because of the effort he puts out, and after such a tumultous few years it is really nice to see him back to normal. Michael Owen, we here at Rear Window salute your efforts....unless you ever go back to Liverpool. Than it is down, down you Scouser scum.