Former Liverpool forward Michael Owen has revealed the scale of his disappointment at never being able to return to what he considered to be his club.
The former Ballon d’Or winner swapped Merseyside for Madrid when he joined the Galacticos in 2004, but always held out hope of an Anfield return.
“I was hoping I could always go back to Liverpool,” he said on The Football Ramble podcast [16:41]. “That was the hope. But if I had said no [to Real Madrid] I just thought that would be an opportunity or an experience missed.
“I have no regrets and I definitely would have done the same again, it just so happened I couldn’t go back to my club. It never happened, I could never get back to what I consider my club and for that I am disappointed.”
It’s sad, in a way, to hear how upset Owen was at his failure to return to Liverpool. You have to be honest, though, and say that the 38-year-old was being somewhat naive in thinking that he could just click his fingers and waltz back into Anfield once his sojourn in Madrid was over. That’s simply not how it works in football. As Mick Jagger once sang: ‘you can’t always get what you want’, and that was exactly the case for Owen in this situation. It’s a shame, because when he was at Liverpool he was one of the finest players on the planet, and arguably the most feared striker in world football. He was never able to replicate his early success later in his career, however, and he retired after a lonely spell at Stoke City. Clearly he always wanted to return to Merseyside, and who knows how things would have worked out had he got his wish, but he can still look back on his career with much pride.