Michael Owen’s conversation with Jamie Carragher after Real Madrid transfer call
Michael Owen has revealed the conversation he had with Liverpool team-mate Real Madrid’s after learning of FA Cup transfer desire.
The Englishman scored 158 goals in nearly 300 appearances for Liverpool, helping them win an FA Cup and UEFA Cup.
But the forward could not replicate that form at the Bernabeu as they pounced at the end of Owen’s contact in 2004.
With 16 goals in 45 games, the 40-year-old only spent one season in Spain before heading to Newcastle for £17m.
And Owen has revealed that former team-mate Carragher tried to convince the forward to stay – but his own mind got in the way.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Owen said: "When my agent phoned me and said 'listen, there's been a call from Real Madrid and they'd like to sign you' – I was in the same room as Carra.
"I'd share all my secrets with Carra, we were bezzie mates so to speak, and as soon as I put the phone down he knew what had been said.
"He told me not to do it, not to go and that I wouldn't get in the team with Ronaldo, Raul and Morientes but that was like red rag to a bull.
"My mindset at that time was that don't you worry, I'd be better than all those sort of attitude. It's horrible to say and you feel big-headed saying it but unless you tell it how it is you can't put any of these stories into perspective.
"That was me at the time. If he had said, 'yeah go' – I'd probably think about staying. I was just all for proving people wrong.
"It was one of those things that went on for so long about whether or not I should give it a go at Madrid – it was draining. Bottom line is, I convinced myself eventually that Ian Rush went to Juventus and he came back. I told myself that if I go, I could always come back.
"I managed to convince myself that, but obviously I was wrong. I thought it was something to try and wondered if I said no, would I ever regret it.
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"After a lot of toing and froing I thought I had to give it a go – I spoke to Rick Parry and said 'listen, I will come back won't I?'
"Both of us were saying 'yeah, definitely' and 'it was just a matter of time' but things took a twist and then you're never quite sure.
“Time moves on and different players went to Liverpool and other opportunities arise for everybody. The dream I planned in my head then never quite materialised, sadly."
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