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Premier League

Michael Owen says Premier League crown is 'pinnacle of career'

Michael Owen has admitted lifting the Premier League title with Manchester United represents the pinnacle of his career.

Although the 31-year-old collected four major cup winners' medals during his eight seasons with Liverpool, then added a Carling Cup to his collection last term at United, yesterday was the first time he had been crowned as a league champion.

Owen is the first to admit his contribution; one start, 10 substitute appearances and two goals, was not really pivotal.

However, he has accepted his role as a squad man with relish and will cherish the medal he collected after the 4-2 win over Blackpool beyond any other.

"They say if you can't beat them, join them," he laughed.

"It has been fantastic. I won a lot of trophies with Liverpool but to win the Premier League is the pinnacle of anyone's career."

The fact Owen scored the last of United's 78 goals this season and that Park and Anderson also got their names on the scoresheet at Old Trafford merely emphasises the all-round effort it has taken to secure a record 19th title.

Owen's other contribution came in saving a point at Bolton in October, a further example of someone chipping in at a vital time, which seems to be what United's season has been all about.

"Throughout the year, you would look at the team and think certain players were essential," he said.

"But then they will go out of form a little bit and someone else will come back from injury.

"The amount of goals that have been spread around the team is fantastic.

"Everyone has played their part, even the ones that have only played a couple of games."

There is a good chance Owen will never play a competitive match for United again.

His two-year contract expires after Saturday's European Cup final, when the best he can hope for is a place on the bench.

Owen has made just two substitute appearances in the Champions League this term, both of which came after Ferguson had named a second string starting line-up, so it is hard to imagine him coming into contention for the Wembley clash with Barcelona this weekend.

He will be fully prepared just in case though, with the former England frontman relishing what he believes to be a collision between the best two sides on the planet at present.

"It is a cracking game," he said.

"If you looked at European football and asked what the ideal final would be, it would be this.

"Barcelona and Manchester United are the best two teams in the world right now, so it is perfect.

"These games don't come round every year and we are really looking forward to it."