We all saw what happened with Michael Owen during England's match against Sweden. After only 55 seconds of play, Newcastle's striker crashed on the field, without anybody touching him. After the game, the doctors' verdict was - as all of us who've seen the replays expected - very cruel: anterior cruciate knee ligament rupture. In other words, the end of his World Cup campaign, at least five months on the bench and, probably, a final blow to his football career.
Actually, his situation is very much alike Ronaldo's, when the Brazilian striker was playing for Inter Milan. His incredible recovery might be the only thing that keeps Owen's hopes high. Still, after the discussion concerning players who play for their national teams and then returned to their clubs with serious injuries, Owen's case will not remain without some financial compensation from the FA.
Newcastle's chairman, Freddy Shepherd, confirmed the fact that, after addressing to the English Football Association (FA), Newcastle will receive a financial compensation, according to the period of time Michael Owen will miss Glen Roeder's starting line-up. After former "England wonder boy" returned home, later yesterday night, Shephard said that: "The FA insures England players when they are on international duty should compensation issues arise and that applies in Michael's case".
More, the Newcastle official criticized the FA's decision to let Sven Goran Eriksson take Owen to Germany, since everyone knew that he had just recovered from his previous injury less than 3 weeks before the start of the World Cup: "If you lend tools to someone and they come back broken you shouldn't have to pay for the repair and that is what happened to Newcastle. The FA has a level of compensation and we insured Michael above that but compensation isn't high enough in my opinion. I nearly vomited when it happened. You can imagine, we've just got him fit for England, he's played very well for Newcastle this year, he plays two games for England, and he is substituted. And now he's sent back to Newcastle for us to more or less pick up the pieces. So we don't think any manager, or chairman, or supporter, is going to be very happy with that".
Michael Owen returned to the Premiership at the start of last season. After being unable to adapt at Real Madrid, the Tune officials transferred him for 25 million euros to St. James Park. Still after playing only 10 matches in the Premiership, he suffered a knee injury that kept him out of the field for most of the season. He managed to recover at the last minute, just before Sven Goran Eriksson announced his World Cup squad.