My #1 favourite Michael Owen moment is his explosive display against Argentina in France 1998 and ‘that’ goal. I picked this, not because it was the ‘obvious’ choice, but based on my memory of that day.
Most of you are aware that I have been a Michael Owen fan since 1995 and his days in the England Schoolboys. I saw the magic he had back then and couldn’t believe that someone so young could be that clinical of an attacker and get better with every game and goal.
England and Liverpool fans were starting to understand why he had be chosen at such a young age to represent his country, but this game and this goal was to going to put him in the international spotlight and his life would never be the same again.
The day was the 30th June 1998, Owen had scored against Romania on the 22nd June and had proven to everyone that he should start the game against Argentina. Everyone knew it, apart from the England manager Glenn Hoddle. It appeared that he was just going to use Michael Owen as a ‘super-sub’ at the astonishment of the England fans. The media petitioned to get Owen into the starting line-up, and it worked as Hoddle picked Michael to start against Argentina.
It didn’t take long before England were on the score-sheet with a penalty won by Owen. he was brought down in the 9th minute by Argentina’s Roberto Ayala. Alan Shearer stepped up and took the penalty, England were 1-0 up in 10 minutes.
England would score again in the 16th minute, and this was the goal that would change Michael Owen‘s young life forever and catapult him to worldwide fame in an instant. Running onto a long-ball, Owen swerves past 2 defenders and smacks it into the back of the net. The world in that instant, went Michael Owen crazy!
In the midst of my craziness at him scoring the most memorable goal of his career (and for England) I remember saying to myself ‘He was now the nations and the worlds’ , for 3 years everyone who knew me knew I was crazy about a relatively unknown teenage footballer, but in that instant and from then on, no one ever asked me again…Michael Owen who?