Real Madrid welcomes Michael Owen

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:08 IST

Michael Owen donned the white jersey of Real Madrid on Saturday as he padded the Spanish powerhouse's star-studded line-up.

Real Madrid welcomes Michael Owen

Madrid:

Michael Owen donned the white jersey of Real Madrid on Saturday as he padded the Spanish powerhouse's star-studded line-up at a VIP presentation at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid. The former Liverpool player received the full treatment as the latest addition to los "Galacticos" the team's term for superstars, as he accepted his new number 11 jersey from legendary Madrid striker and honorary president Alfredo di Stefano. The 24 year-old England international was formally unveiled at the stadium following his $14.71 million dollar move from Liverpool. Four-year contractOwen has signed a four-year contract with the club and follows in the footsteps of his England captain David Beckham, who joined the club last season. Club president Florentino Perez addressed the media on a stage set up in the stands of the stadium and presented Owen. Perez, who had worked to secure a high-profile signing as per his summer custom, first attempted to lure Arsenal's captain Patrick Vieira before switching to Owen. "Michael Owen is one of those players, not just being one of the best players in the world he also fits perfectly in the Real Madrid philosophy. He fits in this club not just by being one of the best players on the pitch but as well which is very important for us the way he conducts himself off the pitch," said Real Madrid PresidentFlorentino Perez. Number 11Owen will wear the number 11 shirt, the same worn by the legendary Real player, Gento. With the likes of Ronaldo, Raul and Morientes in attack, Owen won't be guaranteed a place in Real Madrid's crowded forward line but he's determined to fight for a place. For the time being, he was just happy to be there. "My Dad has been telling me about the great Real Madrid team of the 1960s. He says Di Stefano and Puskas were two strikers who were just unbelievable. He also said Gento was the quickest number 11 he had ever seen and today I'm so proud to be wearing his number 11 shirt today. I would like to thank everyone for making me so welcome out here in Madrid," said Owen. Owen, used to wearing the all red of Liverpool paraded the all white of Real in front of the cameras. One of the fastest players in the Premier League, he scored 158 goals in 297 appearances for Liverpool. A regular with England, the striker has appeared in two World Cups and two European Championships. (AP)



Topics : Football
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