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Michael Owen

Born on December 14, 1979 in Chester, England, Owen was not yet in his teens and was already a local celebrity for the agility he often showed on the field.

Scouts from every major club were soon after him and he later signed with Liverpool as a junior player. Working his way up the ranks- from teen Wonder Boy to professional soccer player - Owen made a spectacular debut with goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup Finals in France, catapulting him into the ranks of international superstar.

Since then, it has been the odd year when Owen has not been named his team's highest scorer, this despite recurring hamstring injuries and personal troubles often reported in the tabloids, including a much-publicized sex scandal extortion case that Owen ultimately won.

With a record that includes a goal for every two games - Owen may, given time, beat the all-time England goal record.

Owen joined Real Madrid to form the superstar triumverate with two equally idolized soccer greats, fellow teammates David Beckham and Ronaldo, but in August 2005 moved back to the UK to play for Newcastle in a four-year £17m deal.

Off the field, Owen married childhood sweetheart Louise Bonsall, in June 2005. The couple have a daughter, Gemma Rose (born May 1, 2003), and a son, James Michael Owen, born on February 6, 2006.


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