Former England striker Owen to retire at

March 19 [Tue], 2013, 19:57
LONDON (Reuters) - Former England striker Michael Owen announced on Tuesday that he would retire from professional soccer at the end of the season.

"I now feel it is the right time to bring the curtain down on my career," the 33-year-old said on his personal website (

Owen made his first-team debut for Liverpool at the age of 17 and also played for Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and his current club Stoke City.

The 2001 European player of the year was capped 89 times by England, scoring 40 goals, but his career was also marked by injury problems.

"I have been very fortunate in that my career has taken me on a journey that, like many young players starting out, I could only have dreamt of," said Owen, who scored a memorable solo goal against Argentina as an 18-year-old in the 1998 World Cup.

He joined Premier League Stoke City at the start of the season and has scored one goal in seven appearances.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Clare Fallon)
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