Michael Owen leaves in tears after Liverpool transfer decision
Rafa Benitez approved a deal that saw Real Madrid sign Michael Owen from Liverpool on this day in 2004
Football players will always divide opinions between fans. And when it comes to Liverpool, arguably nobody in relatively recent history does more than Michael Owen.
Across the club’s academy alongside the likes of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, Owen quickly became one of the most talented strikers in world football. Just over four years after making his debut when he was just 17-years-old, he will win the Ballon d’Or to cement his place as the best player in the world.
Given Owen’s talent and passion for Liverpool, it was believed that he would stay at the club for the length of his football career. On this day in 2004, this idea was officially put to sleep.
August 14, 2004 saw the unveiling of Owen as a new Real Madrid player. It was a deal that brought pride and sadness at Anfield because an academy graduate was leaving the club, but signed with one of the biggest teams in football in the world.
Real president Florentino Perez was, as ever, happy to sign one of the best strikers in the world. The Liverpool academy star fits into the philosophy of the Spanish giants, according to the club’s president.
Perez said after revealing Owen: “Signing Michael Owen follows our tradition, we are signing an excellent player with talent who can give us something special.”
“He fits perfectly with Real Madrid’s culture. Not only because of the way he plays but because of his behavior off the field.”
As always with transfers, Owen’s transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu has been riddled with a huge amount of speculation and rumours. The striker was under contract for another year at Anfield before his exit, and even in the days leading up to his departure there were hopes that no departure would happen.