Michael Owen – End of an Era
All good things come to an end and so has Michael Owen’s professional football career. Owen announced that the current season at Stoke City will be his last. “Big day today. I have decided that this will be my last season as a professional footballer.” Owen tweeted.
Lets take a walk down memory lane and remember the legend’s moments with the game. Debuting with Liverpool at just 17 Owen played with many other star clubs in his career – Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and finally the club he is retiring from Stoke City. He scored 179 goals in 306 appearances for Liverpool and 40 goals for his country from 89 appearances.
Any fan of Michael Owen will remember his fantastic goal against Argentina during the 1998 World Cup – Owen believes this goal changed his life. He received the FIFA World Cup Best young player award and was coined ‘BBC Sports Personality of the Year’ that year. Besides this he has received various recognitions in his club career- 2 x Premier League Golden Boot, Premier League Player of the Season just to name a few.
Though he leaves football professionally he has already left his mark in the game. A legend we will all remember.
I’ll leave you with some quotes form his personal website about his retirement.
“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.
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.
I have been very fortunate in that my career has taken me on a journey that like many young players starting out, I could only have dreamt of.”
On 23 October (21 on birth certificate) 1940 a boy was born in Brazil. Parents João Ramos do Nascimento & Dona Celeste Arantes named him Edson Arantes do Nascimento. Through his liftime he received many different titles and names “The Black Pearl”, “The King of Football” and many more but we know him best as Pelé .
I can fill pages of this blog yet I would not be able to cover all his marvels and acomplishments in life. Scoring 1281 goals in 1363 games, winning numerous medals, receiving multiple honours he made his way to be named the Athlete of the Century, elected by International Olympic Committee: 1999, FIFA Player of the Century : 2000, Greatest football player to have ever played the game, by Golden Foot: 2012, and many more.
So I’ll just get to the point. The way pele left the game- an honor in itself.
On 1 October 1977 Pelé’s father, his wife and a number of his friends including Muhammad Ali & Bobby Moore were present at Giants Stadium to witness Pelé close out his legendary career. The game was betweenthe New York Cosmos – who he had been playing with for two years, and Santos – the club where it all began, the club he played 17 seasons with, the club he joined when he was 15. The stadium was packed at full capacity and there were audiences glued to their television screens through out the world. Pelé gave a brief pre-match speech during which he asked the crowd to say the word “love” with him three times.
He played the first half for the New York Cosmos and the second half for Santos. At halftime, Cosmos retired Pelé’s number 10 jersey. Pelé presented his Cosmos jersey to his father, who was escorted to the field by the Cosmos’ captain. After the match, Pelé was embraced by the New York Cosmos players and then ran around the field holding an American flag in his left hand and a Brazilian flag in his right hand. What a finale to a fantastic career.
Pelé final goal was against his former club. He scored on a direct free kick which the Santos goalkeeper was unable to contain. New York Cosmos won that match 2-1, but the audience got more out of it than just three goals.