Michael Owen gives up on playing for England

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The Independent Football

Michael Owen has given up hope of being selected for England by Fabio Capello.

The 31-year-old striker, a peripheral figure for Manchester United, has not featured for the Three Lions since playing in a friendly against France in March 2008.

He was quoted in The Guardian as saying: "I was disappointed for the first squad I missed, a little bit less for the next one and after about three or four times, I didn't really expect to see my name.

"For the first couple of squads I looked at the players [named] and looked at what I had done. For the last dozen squads, I haven't looked. I don't even think about [being picked] now. Honestly.

"It's sad, really. If I keep getting up for something, then [find out] I am not in, I am just kidding myself."

At the peak of his powers, Owen, who has 40 international goals to his name, was widely expected to overtake the England record of 49 held by Sir Bobby Charlton, but it is an ambition the former Liverpool striker has abandoned.

Owen said: "I am not going to kid myself. Every time I saw him I was 'closing on your record, Sir Bobby'.

"Now I just see him for who he is: a great man."