On the one hand, he was the teenaged phenomenon who took the Premier League by storm when he burst on to the scene in a Liverpool shirt.
On the other hand, he’s the turncoat who later joined Manchester United, and became one of the most irritating pundits in the game.
Watch the finest video on the internet below…
But whatever you think of the former Liverpool, Real Madrid, Man United and Newcastle striker, this video is nothing short of comedy gold.
He had taken the world by storm with his scintillating performances for England in the 1998 World Cup, including a wonder goal against Argentina
In 1999, Owen shared the Premier League golden boot with Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink and Dwight Yorke, and was the poster boy of English football (after David Beckham).
Two years later, he would win the Ballon d’Or. Owen had the world at his feet in 1999, and he also created the one of the most perfect moments in television history.
Still a teenager, Owen appeared in the BBC’s Michael Owen’s Soccer Skills programme. He came across as self-assured, to say the least, in a show that sought to show the human side of England’s hottest prospect. A show that was a vehicle for Owen to impart his knowledge of the beautiful game to young footballers across the nation.
But one segment stands out as a cringeworthy but beautiful piece of viewing. Owen is pitted against a 13-year-old goalkeeper who, coached by Everton legend Neville Southall, is pummelled by the Liverpool striker’s sublime finishing ability.
Jamie, the young ginger goalkeeper, is peppered with shots from Owen, who proceeds to point at the name on his back and gloat as he repeatedly puts the ball past the boyish amateur and into the back of the net. He rounds him, he lobs him, he beats him from distance, and each time he wheels away like he’s scored the winner in a Merseyside derby. Frankly, it’s glorious viewing.
And it isn’t just the viewer who’s perplexed by Owen’s behaviour; Southall himself is bewildered by the joy the world-class striker takes in dismantling young Jamie.
“Well done, he’s 13,” Southall says, as Owen wheels away after the umpteenth goal of the day. It captures what everyone’s thinking: how can it be so fun for an exceptionally talented professional footballer to score again and again and again against a bang-average 13-year-old goalkeeper?
Your guess is as good as mine. Either way, it is captivating viewing, and, in a very uncomfortable and peculiar way, it makes me love Michael Owen all the more for his part in this farce.