Sports "Like in a fishbowl" - Michael Owen in a 90-minute conversation about his year at Real Madrid

18:25  03 august  2020
18:25  03 august  2020 Source:   90min.de

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Exclusive - We spoke to Three Lions legend Michael Owen. The world footballer from 2001 tells us about his time at the Royal Real Madrid, Paparazzi, the atmosphere in Santiago Bernabeu and analytical methods that he did not know before. Owen breaks a lance for the unpopular Gareth Bale.

When you think of the 1998 World Cup, you can't avoid the name Michael Owen. The Liverpool home-grown was just 18 years old when he made his international breakthrough in the Three Lions jersey.

The attacker made his debut in the Premier League last year for his youth club Liverpool FC . Around the turn of the millennium, Owen was one of the best and best-known attackers in the world, and in 2001 he secured the Ballon d'Or as the world's footballer of the year.

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With which the 89-time England international landed on the slip of Real Madrid . After all, the Galaticos made it their credo during this time to sign the who's who of international football.

Owen feiert im Real-Trikot sein Tor gegen Valencia © MinuteMedia Owen celebrates his goal against Valencia

in real jersey In mid-August 2004 it was time, Real Madrid signed Owen from Liverpool for twelve million euros. But it shouldn't be more than a year in white for the British. His numbers from the 2004/05 season were still impressive: Owen was 16 times in 45 competitive games for the royal team, and he was able to prepare four more goals. That wasn't enough for a title at the Bernabeu.

And so the Real Madrid chapter was quickly over for him. Shortly before the transfer window closed, Newcastle United struck in summer 2015 and put a whopping EUR 25 million transfer fee on the table.

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Owen on his eventful year at Real Madrid: Like in a fishbowl

In an exclusive 90-minute conversation, Owen talks about his time in the Spanish capital and names the biggest difference between football in Spain and England.

"I really enjoyed my year in Madrid," says Owen. However, media attention in Madrid was once again significantly greater than in his home country. "We thought we were in a fishbowl. There were paparazzi who followed you everywhere. It really is that you are under the microscope," said the former world-class striker.

It's amazing how good he is. Owen on Gareth Bale

An experience that Gareth Bale is currently experiencing. The Welsh and the Madridistas - it is and will not remain a love affair. "He's not a fan favorite," Owen knows. But even if Bale likes to provoke with his behavior, Owen appreciates his achievements for Madrid. They are in stark contrast to his relationship with the club and fans.

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"If you look at Gareth Bale and his statistics, they are pretty sensational. Not only what he won, but also the moments in his career when he looks back on it. Winning goals in the Champions League final, the trophies, the he won. It's amazing how good he is. So what moments he had in his career, "Owen says of Bale's time in the Spanish capital.

But statistics and titles alone are not enough - especially in Madrid. Owen knows that from his own experience. In the behavior of the fans, he sees the biggest differences between Spain and England.

Theater atmosphere in the Bernabeu

"The fans are different. They go to the stadiums where there is almost a theater atmosphere. Very quiet. But if they don't like what they see, the white handkerchiefs come out and they get louder when the ball is near the sixteen, but for the most part it’s very quiet, "Owen recalls.

But also the training methods are different, says the 40-year-old and has a fluctuation from his real days ready: "There is one thing that is completely different when you go to Spain. I can remember that we all We had day training and when we were training shots on goal the next day all the shots from the training were there and it said: 'Ronaldo had 85 shots. Goals: 62.

X hits with his left foot, X hits with his right foot, hit that Goal so many times. '

And then Raul, and then Morientes, and then Owen, where all the statistics from our units were. And you think, 'Wow.'

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