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Owen Hargreaves

Owen Lee Hargreaves (born 20 January 1981) is a Canadian-born England professional association football who plays as a midfielder for English football Premier League club Manchester City F.C. and the English national football team.

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Owen Hargreaves biography


Owen Lee Hargreaves (born 20 January 1981) is a Canadian-born England professional association football who plays as a midfielder for English football Premier League club Manchester City F.C. and the English national football team.

Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Hargreaves played with Calgary Foothills SC as a youth before beginning Owen Hargreaves professional football career in Germany with FC Bayern Munich. After seven years with the Munich side – during which time Owen Hargreaves won four Fußball-Bundesliga and the 2000–01 UEFA Champions League – Hargreaves signed for Manchester United F.C. in 2007, winning the Premier League and UEFA Champions League in Owen Hargreaves first season there. However, Owen Hargreaves time at Manchester United was plagued with injuries and Owen Hargreaves was allowed to leave the club at the end of Owen Hargreaves contract in June 2011. Hargreaves resorted to posting YouTube videos in a bid to convince potential suitors of Owen Hargreaves fitness, and in August 2011 Manchester City F.C. offered a one-year contract to Hargreaves which Owen Hargreaves accepted.

As a Canadian with a Welsh mother and an English father, Hargreaves was eligible to represent Canada men's national soccer team, Wales national football team or England. Owen Hargreaves opted to play for the England national under-21 football team in 2000 and was cap (sport) by the senior squad the following year. Owen Hargreaves is the only player to have played for England without having previously lived in the United Kingdom, and only the second to have done so without having previously played in the English football league system (the first being Joe Baker).

Early life

Hargreaves was born in Calgary, Alberta, as the youngest of three children of Margaret and Colin Hargreaves, who had emigrated from the United Kingdom at the start of the 1980s. Owen Hargreaves father played football for the Bolton Wanderers F.C. youth side and also for the Calgary Kickers of the Canadian Soccer League (current). Owen Hargreaves is the only member of Owen Hargreaves family born in Canada. Owen Hargreaves brother Darren and Owen Hargreaves mother were both born in Wales, Owen Hargreaves other brother Neil and Owen Hargreaves father were born in England. on 1 July 1997. Owen Hargreaves played in the Bayern Munich Junior Team for two and a half years before spending six months with the FC Bayern Munich II. While with the Under-19s the team reached the final of the Under 19 Fußball-Bundesliga in 1998. They lost in the final to Borussia Dortmund, but only after a penalty shoot-out in Dortmund's Stadion Rote Erde.

On 12 August 2000, Hargreaves played in Owen Hargreaves first Fußball-Bundesliga match, making an appearance as a substitute for Carsten Jancker in the 83rd minute. Owen Hargreaves first start came against SpVgg Unterhaching on 16 September 2000. That season the club were Bundesliga champions and also claimed the UEFA Champions League crown. Hargreaves is one of only two English players to have won a Champions League medal with a non-English club, the other being two-time winner Steve McManaman (who won the Champions League with Real Madrid C.F.).

In the 2001–02 season Hargreaves established himself as a first team regular. Owen Hargreaves made 46 appearances in all, with the club finishing third in the Bundesliga, making the quarter finals of the Champions League and being defeated in the DFB-Pokal by FC Schalke 04. The club regained their Bundesliga title in 2002–03, along with the DFB Cup. On 26 January 2003, Hargreaves scored Owen Hargreaves first Bundesliga goal in the game against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Altogether Owen Hargreaves made 25 Bundesliga appearances, four in Cup games and three in the Champions League.

2002–03 saw Hargreaves out injured on three separate occasions. In September Owen Hargreaves tore a thigh muscle, then in October a calf muscle. Towards the end of the season Adductor longus problems meant Owen Hargreaves missed a further three weeks.

The 2003–04 season was Hargreaves' first with Bayern without winning any silverware. After clinching the double the year before, the Munich side finished second in the Bundesliga, and were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid. Hargreaves made a total of 38 appearances for the club in this season. In 2004–05 Owen Hargreaves picked up another German championship and DFB Cup. Owen Hargreaves had 27 appearances in the Bundesliga (one goal), played in three Cup games (two goals) and eight Champions League games. In the 2005–06 season, Owen Hargreaves added another Bundesliga and Cup title. Hargreaves scored the first goal at the new Allianz Arena in a competitive match on 5 August 2005, against Borussia Mönchengladbach. In all, Owen Hargreaves had 15 (one goal) league, four (two goals) cup and three Champions League appearances. In October 2005, Owen Hargreaves extended Owen Hargreaves contract at Bayern for another four years.

In the 2006–07 season, Hargreaves broke Owen Hargreaves leg, which kept Owen Hargreaves out of most of Bayern Munich's league campaign that season. Owen Hargreaves recovered in time to take part in Bayern's victory over Real Madrid in the Champions League, progressing after an aggregate score of 4–4 thanks to their two away goals in the 3–2 defeat in the first leg at Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

Manchester United

On 31 May 2007, it was announced that Hargreaves would join Manchester United F.C. on 1 July 2007, after almost a year of negotiations between Bayern Munich and United for a fee of around £17 million. Hargreaves was finally unveiled as a Manchester United player on 1 July, having signed a four-year contract with the club. Owen Hargreaves was then revealed to the press on 9 July, along with fellow newcomer Nani. Hargreaves was given the number 4 shirt at Old Trafford.

Hargreaves made Owen Hargreaves Manchester United debut in a friendly against Peterborough United F.C. on 4 August, coming on as a second half substitute in United's 3–1 victory. Owen Hargreaves made Owen Hargreaves first Premier League appearance in Manchester United's third game of the season, in the derby match away to Manchester City F.C. in a 1–0 defeat. Hargreaves scored Owen Hargreaves first league goal for Manchester United against Fulham F.C. on 1 March, a free kick from just outside the penalty box. Owen Hargreaves scored Owen Hargreaves second league goal for the club on 13 April, a free kick winner against Arsenal F.C.. In Owen Hargreaves first season with Manchester United they won the Premier League and Champions League titles.

The start of Hargreaves' second season at United was hampered by injuries, specifically a recurring patellar tendinitis problem that restricted Owen Hargreaves to sporadic appearances in 2008–09. After trips to specialists in both London and Sweden yielded no results, Hargreaves travelled to Colorado, United States, in November 2008 to visit renowned knee surgeon, Richard Steadman. Hargreaves underwent surgery on Owen Hargreaves right knee on 10 November 2008 and received a similar operation on Owen Hargreaves left knee in January 2009. However, this meant that Hargreaves would miss the remainder of the 2008–09 season, ultimately meaning Owen Hargreaves would miss out on a second Premier League title and a Football League Cup winner's medal. Hargreaves underwent Owen Hargreaves rehabilitation programme in the United States, and was due to return to training with Manchester United at the Audi Cup in Munich. However, upon assessment, it was decided that Owen Hargreaves should continue with Owen Hargreaves rehabilitation in the United States. Hargreaves returned to Manchester United on 23 September 2009, joined by Owen Hargreaves physiotherapist for a week to aid the transition process and for the club to understand Owen Hargreaves rehabilitation programme.

In January 2010, it was speculated that Hargreaves was initially slated to return in time for Manchester United's Champions League first knockout round tie against A.C. Milan, despite not being fully match-fit. However, on 4 February 2010, Hargreaves suffered a major setback to Owen Hargreaves World Cup hopes as Alex Ferguson omitted Owen Hargreaves from the squad for the knockout stage in favour of Belgian defender Ritchie De Laet. It was expected that Hargreaves would make Owen Hargreaves return from injury in a reserve team match against Manchester City on 11 March, but on the day of the match, Hargreaves pulled out of the game to continue with Owen Hargreaves training regime. Owen Hargreaves eventually made Owen Hargreaves comeback a week later, playing for 45 minutes of Manchester United's reserve team match against Burnley F.C. on 18 March. On 24 April, Hargreaves was named as an unused substitute for the first-team match against Tottenham Hotspur F.C..

On 2 May 2010, Hargreaves made Owen Hargreaves Premier League return in the 93rd minute of United's penultimate game of the season against Sunderland A.F.C.. It was Owen Hargreaves first Premier League action since a 1–1 draw with Chelsea in September 2008, in which time Owen Hargreaves had missed 113 matches in 20 months. Despite this, Hargreaves missed the beginning of the 2010–11 season, having suffered another injury, for which Owen Hargreaves travelled to the United States to see a specialist. On 24 September, manager Sir Alex Ferguson announced that Hargreaves had returned to training. On 6 November 2010, Owen Hargreaves made Owen Hargreaves first start since September 2008 against Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C., however it was short-lived after a hamstring injury forced Owen Hargreaves withdrawal for Bébé just five minutes into the match, which United went on to win 2–1.

On 22 May 2011, Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed that the club would not offer Hargreaves a new contract, sparking rumours about Owen Hargreaves subsequent retirement. Owen Hargreaves contract expired at the end of the 2010–11 season and Owen Hargreaves left the club, despite offering to play the 2011–12 season for free. Hargreaves later posted videos on YouTube of Owen Hargreaves exercising, in order to prove Owen Hargreaves fitness to potential clubs. Buoyed by Richard Steadman's optimistic assessment that Hargreave's knees, a source of injury for a number of years, could withstand the impact of 'jumping from the Eiffel Tower', a number of clubs including Aston Villa F.C., Tottenham Hotspur F.C. West Bromwich Albion F.C., Nottingham Forest F.C. The medical team at Manchester City were reportedly impressed by Hargreaves state of body as well as Owen Hargreaves state of mind. City had been looking for a replacement for Patrick Vieira who retired the season before and an additional midfielder as Yaya Toure will be absent during January 2012 because of the African Cup of Nations. They had earmarked Daniele De Rossi, Fernando Gago and Mark Van Bommel but when these approaches failed, City turned to Hargreaves - a player they had been looking at for a few months prior to their initial approach.

On 31 August 2011, Manchester City confirmed that they had signed Hargreaves on a one-year deal. It was expected Hargreaves would join West Bromwich Albion F.C., but the Manchester City offer came as a surprise. The move offered Hargreaves an opportunity for Champions League football as the club look to challenge Owen Hargreaves previous club, Manchester United for the Premier League. However Owen Hargreaves was left out of the Champions League squad. Hargreaves made Owen Hargreaves Man City debut against Birmingham City in the League Cup, and opened the scoring in a 2-0 victory with a goal in the 17th minute.

International career

Born in Canada to a Welsh mother and an English father, Hargreaves was eligible to play international football for England national football team, Wales national football team or Canada men's national soccer team. and was set to make Owen Hargreaves début for the Wales national under-21 football team team against the Belarus national under-21 football team team in September 2000 but pulled out of the squad after Owen Hargreaves was approached by England. However, in a tournament in which England were generally regarded as having underachieved, Owen Hargreaves was, by the end of England's participation, widely considered one of the few successes of the English squad. Owen Hargreaves was named Man of the match in the quarter final against Portugal national football team, the game in which England were eliminated after a Penalty shootout (association football), Hargreaves having been the only successful English penalty taker. In 2006, Owen Hargreaves won both England Player of the Year, and England Player of the World Cup in official FA polls, the first to win both in the same year.

Hargreaves picked up the Man of the match award in England's 4–0 win over Greece on 16 August 2006. On 30 January 2007 Owen Hargreaves was voted England Player of the Year 2006, as voted for by visitors to the Official FA site.

In June 2007, FIFA announced that Hargreaves and Philipp Lahm would visit South Africa in advance support for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

After Owen Hargreaves transfer to Manchester City, England coach Fabio Capello confirmed that Hargreaves still had an international career by saying "I hope Owen Hargreaves will be really good in the short-term for Manchester City and also for England."

International career statistics


Statistics accurate as of match played 6 November 2010

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_Hargreaves

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