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Why we were never Friends — Michael Owen on David Beckham



Why we were never Friends -- Michael Owen on David Beckham

In a surprising revelation, former English football star Michael Owen has opened up about his lack of a close relationship with his former teammate David Beckham during their time at Real Madrid.

The two players, known for their illustrious careers, were expected to form a tight-knit bond off the pitch, but according to Owen, this was far from reality.

Owen and Beckham rose to prominence as teenagers, with Owen’s memorable solo goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup and Beckham’s debut for Manchester United at the age of 17, after progressing through the club’s academy.

Owen enjoyed great success with Liverpool, becoming a cult hero at Anfield, while Beckham, although not as prolific in scoring goals, earned adoration from fans for his achievements at Manchester United.

Beckham’s departure from Manchester United in 2003, following a public falling out with manager Sir Alex Ferguson, took him to Real Madrid. Owen joined Los Blancos a year later, resulting in a rare scenario where two British players were playing for the same foreign club.

However, contrary to popular belief, the duo did not develop a close friendship outside of football.

Reflecting on their time in Madrid, Owen revealed in his autobiography,

“As much as we ended up living close to David and Victoria Beckham and were two English families living abroad in the same city, there wasn’t much in the way of social life as far as them and us were concerned.”

He further explained that due to their respective family commitments, occasional encounters during training were the extent of their interaction.

Owen highlighted that he and Beckham had even less in common during their time together in Madrid, stating, “Given that both Louise [Owen’s wife] and Victoria were quite lonely and both looking after young kids, they’d occasionally see each other while we were training. That was the extent of the friendship, however.”

Moreover, Owen acknowledged the stark contrast in their off-field interests. While Beckham’s style and involvement in socialite circles garnered attention, Owen expressed disinterest in trendy fashion and mingling among socialites.

He noted, “David and Victoria on the other hand, were both bona fide superstars in their own right. They were operating on a completely different stratosphere from a social perspective. I never once got the impression I was on the inner circle of David’s group of friends.”

Owen’s candid remarks also delved into the aftermath of England’s elimination from the 1998 World Cup, where Beckham received a red card for kicking Diego Simeone.

Why we were never Friends -- Michael Owen on David Beckham

Owen commented,

“David let us down, and I still hold some resentment about it today,” while acknowledging that the subsequent abuse directed at Beckham was undeserved.

Following his one-year stint at Real Madrid, Owen returned to England to join Newcastle United before playing for Manchester United and Stoke City, ultimately retiring in 2013. David Beckham, on the other hand, left Madrid in 2007 and played a pivotal role in the Major League Soccer revolution by joining LA Galaxy. He later had stints with AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain before retiring in 2013.

The revelation of the lack of a close relationship between Owen and Beckham during their time at Real Madrid adds a new dimension to their careers, debunking the assumption that they formed a strong bond off the pitch.