Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has lifted the lid on the pain of going back to Anfield feeling he has tarnished his legacy by leaving in 2004.
Speaking to Jamie Carragher on The Greatest Game podcast, Owen says he is different to his former team-mate because he is not idolised in the same way.
He said: “It has been painful going back to Anfield. Crying in the playing lounge and hoping nobody sees. It has been torture for a long time. It is like splitting up with your wife. I can only blame myself, I said yes to Real Madrid. I still love Liverpool. Different to [Carragher], you are still at that club being idolised. I was you.
“And yet there is a polarised opinion because of me thinking I will go away for a year and all of a sudden it is all ruined. If I am walking along the Kop, they’re saying ‘you Manc’ or whatever and I have got to live with that. It has killed me for ages and the wound will never go.”
TBR’s View – Owen made a bad call in 2004 and it unraveled from there
First things first, there’s no way Owen should be getting abuse from any fanbase, certainly not one at a club he served with such distinction.
He made a bad call to leave in 2004, where he said above he only expected to be at Real Madrid for a year. But he was unable to engineer a move back to Liverpool when he left Spain and where do you go from there?
People will say he shouldn’t have joined Manchester United if he loved Liverpool that much but if it was the best offer on the table at that point from a professional point of view, he had every right to be hard nosed.