Queen’s brilliant reason for selecting Michael Owen as her favourite player

Michael Owen discusses relationship with David Beckham

The Queen’s favourite footballer of all time was Michael Owen. Why? Well, because her Royal Highness appreciated his personal hygiene.

Despite being better known for her love of horse racing than football she did have a soft spot for the former Man Utd, Liverpool and England striker. However, it was not his skills on the pitch that made him so revered by the Queen as former Three Lions boss Sven Goran Eriksson revealed during an appearance on the BBC’s ‘Sacked in the Morning’ podcast’ last year.

“I was invited to lunch with the Queen with about another 10 people,” said the Swede. “At a certain point, I asked her if she liked football. She said not really.

“I asked her for her favourite player or team. I thought she would’ve said Beckham. ‘Michael Owen is my favourite player,’ she said. I asked why and she said, ‘He looks so clean’. That was the answer I got and we didn’t go on with that discussion.”

Owen is widely considered to be one of the greatest English footballers of all time but he also never fully lived up to his potential in a career plagued by injuries. His hamstring issues were as prolific as his goals and led to him missing hundreds of games during his 17-year stint as a professional.

Yet despite injuries curtailing a legendary run in the sport, the Chester-born danger man still picked up plenty of honours and forged a successful career for both club and country. Among his many accolades is a Premier League title, UEFA Cup, three League Cups and an FA Cup.

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He also bagged himself a Ballon d’Or in 2001 – football’s most prestigious individual award. When the Queen passed away at her Scottish residence in Balmoral last year at the age of 96, the footballing world, including Owen, paid tribute to her services to the United Kingdom.

Taking to Twitter at the time, he wrote: “RIP to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Thank you Ma’am for your lifetime of service and dedication.”

The 43-year-old always had great admiration for the Queen and revealed how he was lost for words when she spoke to him during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations last summer. Owen recalled he was asked how his family was keeping, only for words to fail him. “I couldn’t even answer, it was an incredible moment,” he said.

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