Michael Owen says a comment from Jamie Carragher “made” him join Real Madrid as he wanted to prove his former Liverpool team-mate “wrong”.
The former England international swapped Anfield for the Bernabeu in 2004 with only a year left on his contract with Liverpool.
“I was in America, me and Jamie Carragher were sharing the same room,” Owen told talkSPORT. “We were on a pre-season tour and Rafa Benitez had just taken over at Liverpool.
“My agent phoned me and said ‘Madrid want to buy you’. I just remember putting the phone down after a couple of minutes discussing it and Carragher has looked at me and said ‘don’t do it’.
“And I said to him ‘why not?’ And he said I wouldn’t play there. That actually made me sign for them, thinking I’m going to prove Carra wrong!”
Owen added: “I always say to myself that it was a nice problem. How could you complain about Real Madrid being interested in you?
“Talking of sleepless nights… one day I was thinking I can’t leave my family and friends [at Liverpool]. I was virtually born at this football club and had come right through the ranks.
“But then if you don’t go you’ll have sixty years of thinking what might have been. It was the worst problem in the world, but a lovely problem at the same time as well.”
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