Michael Owen will retire at the end of the Premier League season, concluding the career of one of English football's most prolific strikers for club and country.
The 33-year-old Owen scored 40 times in 89 England appearances, including a memorable solo goal from the halfway line in a World Cup knockout match against Argentina in 1998, to place him fourth on the country's all-time scorers list behind Bobby Charlton, Gary Lineker and Jimmy Greaves.
Known for his pace and quality finishing, he started his club career at Liverpool and spent eight years at Anfield, where he became one of the Premier League's most feared forwards. He then moved to Spanish club Real Madrid and enjoyed an impressive strike rate despite largely being a back-up for Brazil striker Ronaldo.
Owen returned to England for stints at Newcastle and Manchester United before moving to Stoke on a free transfer in the last offseason. Injuries, though, have taken their toll on his body and he has scored only one goal for what will be his last club.
"I now feel it is the right time to bring the curtain down on my career,'' Owen said Tuesday on his personal website. "I have been very fortunate in that my career has taken me on a journey that like many young players starting out, I could only have dreamt of.''
Aside from the goal against Argentina, where he announced himself on the world stage at the age of 18, Owen will also be remembered for his clinical hat trick in a World Cup qualifier against Germany in Munich in 2001.
Arguably the highlight of his club career came in the 2001 FA Cup final, when he scored twice for Liverpool in a 2-1 win over a dominant Arsenal. Liverpool went on to complete the FA Cup-League Cup-UEFA Cup treble that season.