That Owen Hargreaves senior career ended after just 13 years might make anyone to wonder why a glittering career ended so early. The England midfielder retired at the age of 31, due to recurring injuries which was attributed to his playing style, when he should still be in his prime.
His sudden burst into prominence on the football scene attracted less news in comparison to his abrupt demise from the same. The Canadian-born player enjoyed success earlier in his career only to be hampered by series of injuries that plagued him in his later years.
After a successful 10 years spell at the Allianz Arena which saw him broke into the mighty Bayern Munich side managed by Ottmar Hitzfeldat at the age of 19 years, including winning four Bundesliga titles and the Champions League, Man United came calling.
He had caught the attention of Sir Alex Ferguson with his performances for England at the 2006 World Cup in Germany and after United failing in the first attempt, Hargreaves finally secured his dream move to the Premier League, after a year of negotiation in the summer of 2007.
Ferguson had thought his signing would be the ideal replacement for Roy Keane and would bring versatility to the midfield but Owen’s prowess was to be enjoyed only in his first season.
He helped United to the Premier League and Champions League double in his debut season, playing the full 120 minutes against Chelsea in the European final but he spent the better parts of the subsequent three years on the sidelines.
A series of surgeries which yielded little or no positive results and not helped by recurrent setbacks must have only not disappointed Ferguson but also frustrated him. The former United boss labelled Owen as a “disaster” for Man United and as “one of the most disappointing signing” of his managerial career in his 2013 autobiography.
Leaving Ferguson with no choice, Owen’s contract was not renewed in 2011 and was snapped up by United’s city rival Manchester City.