Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has revealed his regret at never rejoining the Reds following his departure a decade ago.
The ex-England international agonised over the decision to leave Anfield for La Liga giants Real Madrid before concluding that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Owen, now a pundit after retiring from football last year, assumed he would get the chance to re-sign for the Merseyside outfit once his time at the Bernabeu came to an end, but spells at Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City followed a season in Spain.
His three-year stint at Old Trafford saw his relationship with Liverpool fans turn sour and they jeered him upon every return to the stadium. Writing in his personal blog, Owen said: “It was never my intention to leave Liverpool. I had always thought I’d be a one club man. I was in America on a pre-season tour when my phone rang with the news. “My agent told me that Real Madrid had been in touch and wanted to sign me. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
”After opting to join Real, Owen mistakenly thought he would be afforded the same chance as club legend Ian Rush, who spent a year at Juventus before rejoining Liverpool.
He added: “After a week of changing my mind one way and another, I decided that if I didn’t give it a go I could regret it for the rest of my life. Like Ian Rush before me, the plan was that I could always come back (well that was my plan!). “The only drawback from my decision to head to Madrid was, that after a year in Spain, I didn’t manage to rejoin my boyhood team. “Still, having played at the Bernabeu, alongside some of the greats of the game, I suppose I can’t have too many complaints!”
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