Michael Owen announces retirement at end of season

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Michael Owen to retire from football
London, Mar 23: Former England striker Michael Owen has announced he will retire from football at the end of the season.

Owen, 33, confirmed the announcement on his official website and said it is the "right time to bring the curtain down on my career".

The former Liverpool hero has struggled in recent terms through injuries and has failed to make any impact at Stoke City, scoring one goal in seven first-team starts.

But he former Ballon d'Or winner will reflect back on his glorious career with spells at Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United and Stoke City, as well as a successful England career.

"It is with an immense amount of pride that I am announcing my intention to retire from Professional Football at the end of this season," A statement on Owen's website read.

"Having progressed through the ranks at Liverpool to make my first team debut at 17, before embarking upon spells at Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City, not to mention representing my country on 89 occasions, I now feel it is the right time to bring the curtain down on my career."

Owen burst into the international stage with a spectacular goal against Argentina at the World Cup 1998 in France.

The striker went on to score 150 goals for boyhood club Liverpool but his move to Real Madrid was not memorable. Owen's career was cut short when he suffered a serious knee injury during the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

However, Owen became one of the few Englishmen to win the European Footballer of the Year award in 2001.

Owen is England's fourth-highest goalscorer of all time and has totalled 220 goals in his club career.

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