Former Liverpool hero Michael Owen has spoken about how he cried in the players’ lounge at Anfield when he returned as a Manchester United player.
Speaking on Jamie Carragher’s podcast last year, the Cestrian revealed going back to the stadium he once called ‘home’ was “torture” for him.
To his credit, Owen does recognise his betrayal by signing for Man United, as he compared it with splitting up with one’s wife.
“It has been painful going back to Anfield. Crying in the players’ lounge and hoping nobody sees. It has been torture for a long time,” he said.
“It is like splitting up with your wife. I can only blame myself, I said yes to Real Madrid. I still love Liverpool. Different to [Carragher], you are still at that club being idolised. I was you.
“And yet there is a polarised opinion because of me thinking I will go away for a year and all of a sudden it is all ruined.
“If I am walking along the Kop, they’re saying ‘you Manc’ or whatever and I have got to live with that. It has killed me for ages and the wound will never go.”
A small part of me feels sorry for Owen, to be honest – but a much larger part of me cannot be convinced he didn’t have more options than just United in 2009.
Although leaving to sign for Real Madrid in 2004 left a bitter taste in Liverpool fans’ mouths, we’d have gotten over it.
Joining Newcastle United and Stoke City in his later years – also fine – but signing for our bitter-most rivals was the worst decision Owen ever made, the Premier League title in 2011 doesn’t make up for it.