Michael Owen says he has Karim Benzema to thank for his Manchester United move

By: Aveek Chakraborty
Michael Owen says he has Karim Benzema to thank for his Manchester United move

London, Nov 14: Former Manchester United striker Michael Owen has sensationally uncovered that in 2009 if Karim Benzema hadn't chosen to join Real Madrid he could never have signed for the Manchester giants.

In 2009 Manchester United lost their star player Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid and to fill up the void position the legendary Scotsman reportedly then targetted the young Benzema who then set a fire in the league 1 for Lyon.

Benzema at that moment was one of the most sought strikers around the globe as the French forward then boasted a record of scoring 37 times in 72 matches for Lyon.

However, after having a lot of talks and transfer approach Benzema did not turn out for the Red Devils and he too followed the path of his current team-mate Ronaldo at Madrid.

Madrid that year appointed Florentino Perez as Madrid president and he chose to bring a host of top players to the Bernabeu with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Alvaro Negredo, Kaka, Alvaro Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso, Raul Albiol, Esteban Garner alongside Benzema.

And according to Owen, only after missing out on Benzema, Ferguson decided to bring former Reds legend from Newcastle United as a free transfer and for such condition, he can only appreciate the French forward.

“I’ve got a lot to thank him for,” Owen said.

“He might not know but I wouldn’t have gone to Manchester United if it wasn’t for Benzema because I think Manchester United wanted to buy Benzema, and he chose Real Madrid.

“I was told by Sir Alex Ferguson that 'we want Benzema, but if Benzema doesn’t come then you’re coming’.

“So I was pleading with Benzema to go to Real Madrid – so thank you to him.”

Owen's arrival at the Old Trafford caused a lot of stir among the Liverpool fans that movement as most of the Reds regards the former English forward as their club legend.

The Ballon d'Or winner, however, never made it big at the Manchester in his three years stay as he would go on to play in only 52 games in his United stint, scoring just 17 times but won his only Premier League title with them in 2010-11.

Story first published: Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 13:17 [IST]
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