Former Liverpool Star 'Cried All The Way To The Airport' When He Left Club
Philippe Coutinho may have pushed and pushed for his dream move to Barcelona to be completed, this month and Luis Suarez may have also been keen to move to Catalonia four years ago, but there was a time when players weren't as happy to secure moves from Merseyside to Spain.
As Michael Owen will attest.
Owen had established himself as Liverpool's main striker between 1997 and 2004, scoring 158 goals in 297 appearances for the Reds over the course of seven seasons, before being deemed surplus to requirements by Rafa Benitez.
Owen left Anfield for Real Madrid, joining a newfound English contingent at the Bernabeu which also included David Beckham and Jonathan Woodgate.
Yet despite being offered the chance to go and play regularly with the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and, erm, Thomas Gravesen, the decision to move to the Spanish capital didn't come easily to the former England international, who had admitted in a recent interview the turmoil he endured over the move and how he ended up in tears all the way to the airport en route to concluding the switch to Los Blancos.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Owen said, "When Real Madrid asked me to join them in 2004, part of me was flattered and part of me was in turmoil.
"Who wouldn't want to play with them? But my mind chopped and changed and my thought process was going back and forth.
"I decided I had to go, but even so, I was pretty much crying all the way from my home to the airport. Part of me never wanted to leave."
He may have cried all the way to the airport but Owen still got to spend a season with some of the all time greats at the Bernabeu. Images: PA
Owen would spend just one season with Real, scoring 16 goals in 45 games before leaving for Newcastle United in a £17 million deal.
After four injury plagued seasons at St. James' Park, Owen would ruin his reputation on the red half of Merseyside by joining Manchester United on a free transfer, in 2009.
Owen would once again be troubled by injury, making just 52 appearances over the course of his three seasons at Old Trafford, scoring 17 goals. He would go onto lift a League Cup and his first and only Premier League title, as a United player.
(H/T The Mirror)
Featured Image Credit: PA