Former Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen admits that he was desperate to re-join the Reds after he left Anfield in 2004, but the Merseyside club was uninterested in taking him back.
The 2001 Ballon d’Or winner has finally revealed why he never went back to Anfield after he left to join Real Madrid during their Galacticos Era.
Owen scored 158 goals during his time with Liverpool. He also helped the Reds win an FA Cup as well as the 2001 UEFA Cup.
He left Liverpool in 2004 for Real Madrid, but failed to establish himself in the Real Madrid first team squad, and was sold to Newcastle after only one season in the Spanish capital.
Michael had hoped to re-join Liverpool ever since his stint at Real Madrid, although he couldn’t materialize a move back to the Reds in 2005, and instead joined Newcastle for £16.8 million.
“At every stage – every summer – I was on the phone to Carra (Jamie Carragher) telling him to find a way to get me back,” says Owen in new book, Ring of Fire.
“‘Does Rafa want me?’ I’d say. ‘Does Kenny want me?’ ‘Does Brendan want me?’ It was circumstance that stopped it happening.
“Whenever I was available, Liverpool had too many strikers. And when Liverpool wanted me, I was injured. By the end, I wasn’t the player I had been before and they simply didn’t fancy me. I wasn’t good enough.
“I spoke to Carra and tried to get (Rafa) Benitez to do something. I wanted to try to put it right somehow.
“When it became clear Benitez didn’t want to do a deal, I spoke again with (Alex) Ferguson. He was very positive about me. I was twenty-nine years old. Should I have decided to retire there and then?”
He spent four seasons with Newcastle, scoring 30 goals in his 79 appearances before he completed a move to Manchester United in 2009.
Owen then went on to finish his career with Stoke City in 2013, meaning that he would never return to play at Anfield ever again.