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LONDON (Reuters) - Michael Owen enjoyed a stellar career as a prolific striker for England and Liverpool but said he would reflect in retirement on "what might have been" had he not been robbed of his incredible speed due to injury.
Owen, who said on Tuesday he would hang up his boots at the end of the season, burst onto the scene at Liverpool as a 17-year-old and also played at Real Madrid, Newcastle United and Manchester United before signing for Stoke City last year.
Owen regularly terrorised defences with his breathtaking speed, most memorably with a stunning goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup, although in the latter part of his career he has been plagued by injuries.
The 33-year-old, who scored 40 times for England in 89 appearances, said he would look back on his long and successful career with pride.
"The second emotion that lives with me is a sense of 'what might have been' had injuries not robbed me of my most lethal weapon - speed," Owen wrote on his website (www.michaelowen.com) on Thursday.
"Many of my highlights were early on in my career and I can only wonder what more I would have achieved had my body been able to withstand the demands that I was making of it," added Owen, the 2001 European Player of the year.
"I was almost too quick. I have no doubt that had I not suffered those 'pace depriving' injuries, I would be sat here now with a sack full of awards and a long list of records," said Owen, who tore his hamstring aged 19.
Owen scored 158 goals for Liverpool in 297 appearances, the club at which he said he felt "most at home."
"Winning virtually every trophy at club level is the stuff of dreams but in amongst all that there were some incredible days," said Owen, who won the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup with Liverpool in 2001.
Owen added a first Premier League winner's medal with United in 2010/11 and said his goal after the current season comes to a close would be to set up a management company in his name on July 1 to help young players in a career "full of pitfalls."
"I have seen so many horror stories during my own career and have learnt plenty from my own experiences," said Owen.
"The representation of players is an area I believe I can excel in."
(Writing by Tom Pilcher, Editing by Justin Palmer)