Owen admits he wouldn’t forgive himself he had turned down Madrid move

Atletico forward Antoine Griezmann after scoring his side's second goal during a Group A Champions League soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Monaco at the Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
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Michael Owen admits he was “tossing and turning” over whether or not to join Real Madrid from Liverpool in 2004, but in the end just couldn’t turn the opportunity down.
The forward only had a year left on his Reds contract when the Spanish giants came in for him, and following a summer of ups and downs at Anfield featuring the sacking of Gerard Houllier as manager and appointment of Rafael Benitez, he simply couldn’t turn the move down.
Owen is soon to release a tell-all book about his life and career, and he admits that the thought of coming back to Liverpool after a year away – just as Ian Rush did when he left the Reds for Juventus – was already on his mind before he made the move.
“I don’t know what it was. I just couldn’t live with myself if I’d have said no to going to Real Madrid ,” said Owen in the video above.
“And I blame Rushie!
“I was looking at him and thinking ‘he went to Juventus for a year and he came back, and it was perfect.’
“I was convincing myself that I could just go for a year or two and then come back.
“And that’s how, in the end, I made the decision. I was tossing and turning, I didn’t know which way to turn.
“I just thought Madrid, with those great players at the time, with that stadium, a new language, a new country, a new way of playing football…
“The whole experience, with my family and taking them away to live in a foreign country, it just all… I just thought ‘I’ve got to try it.’
“At least if I try it and I come back then I can always say I did it.
“And then if I don’t then one day I could be sat here saying to you ‘Do you know what? One day I got asked to play for that Galactico team with Zidane and Figo and Raul and Ronaldo and Carlos…’
“So I just convinced myself, come on, it’s the right thing to do. It’s an opportunity you’ll never, ever get again.”
Owen would only stay in Madrid for one season, scoring 16 goals in 45 games before joining Newcastle .

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