Michael Owen names his best PL XI of all-time – with five Man United players

Michael Owen has played alongside some of the greatest players on the planet, and now he’s named, what is, in his opinion, the greatest Premier League XI in history.

Despite an injury-ridden career, the former striker has cemented himself among the greatest English footballers of all time. He arrived in 1996 at Liverpool, and burst on the scene like a goal-scoring machine, with defenders simply incapable of preventing his rapid runs.

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His innate opportunism saw him rack up a sensational tally of 158 goals in 297 appearances for the Reds. He even won the Ballon d’Or. Therefore, it came as no surprise when he attracted the attention of Real Madrid. Following a successful £8 million bid from the Spanish side, Owen jumped on a flight and set his sights on tearing up La Liga.

He joined up with the likes of David Beckham, Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane, and looked destined for more success. However, after just one season, he moved to Newcastle United, where the injury bug then reared its ugly head.

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The forward became spent four injury-hit years at St James’ Park, before eventually doing the unthinkable. He abandoned his Liverpool roots, moved to Manchester United, and scored one of the club’s most memorable goals. In the dying seconds of the Manchester derby, Owen broke free and scored a last-minute winner to send Old Trafford into raptures.

Despite not spending much time at The Theatre of Dreams, the 42-year-old still has a great deal of respect for the men who’ve played there. Which he’s illustrated in his selection for his Premier League line-up.

Michael Owen names his best PL XI

In an interview with Premier League Productions, he revealed his choices – and the reasons behind each.

  • Goalkeeper – Peter Schmeichel

Owen: “Peter Schmeichel for me. He backs it up with trophies. And was involved in the greatest team of that generation. He had presence, size, he was commanding. He drove that team forward. I think he’s a standout.”

  • Defender – Gary Neville

Owen: “Underestimated.”

  • Defender – Rio Ferdinand

Owen: “I think he was a total Rolls Royce.”

  • Defender – John Terry

Owen: “Great leader. Longevity.”

  • Defender – Ashley Cole

“I don’t think there are any questions about the left back at all.”

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  • Midfielder – Steven Gerrard

Owen: “The first name that went in, Steven Gerrard. He went in straight away. He had absolutely everything. He’s too big, too strong, too fast. Amazing in the air, amazing tackler, amazing shooter of the ball. Scored goals, assists, [his] passing was perfection. What can’t Steven Gerrard do? Big names, you want him next to you. Honestly, just the best.”

  • Midfielder – Paul Scholes

Owen: “What a magician.”

  • Midfielder – Patrick Vieira
  • Forward – Cristiano Ronaldo

Owen: “I had to get Ronaldo in. He’s one of the greatest players ever. Full stop.”

  • Forward – Alan Shearer

Owen: “The highest scorer in the Premier League. An absolute monster of a centre forward.”

  • Forward – Thierry Henry

Owen: “The best player, in my opinion, that’s graced the Premier League. Thierry Henry.”

After naming his XI, Owen explained that he found it “very tough” to leave out Wayne Rooney. The pair were team-mates during the ex-Real Madrid striker’s time at Manchester United.

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