While England skipper David Beckham took another tongue-lashing from wannabe Real Madrid president Enrique Sobrino, England striker Michael Owen has been attracting the attention of another pair of Spanish eyes.
Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard, who orchestrated a 2-1 defeat of arch-rivals Real at the Bernabeu on Sunday, has hinted at making a move for the Liverpool star.
'We need a fast striker who is also technical and knows how to create numerous goalscoring opportunities,' Rijkaard said. 'Am I referring to Owen? What do you think?'
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I don't think that Owen would be the best purchase for Barcelona. Patrick Kluivert has underperformed, despite scoring at the weekend, this season and Rijkaard would be best advised to seek a similar replacement for him, such as Kezman.
Barcelona already have a pint-sized speedy striker in Saviola and do not need another one. The £50million could be spent elsewhere.
Owen would do well to snap up any offer that comes from Barcelona as he is growing stagnant and long-ball Liverpool. Barcelona proved what an attacking threat they pose against Real Madrid at the weekend and Owen could feast rather than feeding on scraps.
I think Owen could prove his doubters wrong with a move to a more attack minded team and his improved for would be a boost for England and the perception of English players around the world.
Barcelona are such a good team. They shouldn't lower their standards by getting an overrated striker like Owen. All he has is pace, he is not a complete striker.
I think if Michael Owen wants to play Champions League football then he wants to start looking at his own form and stop worrying about Liverpool not fulfilling their obligations.
Liverpool can't get to Europe unless their strikers perform and it's obvious he isn't performing. Liverpool should look at the transfer market instead of worrying about Mr Owen's contract I suspect!
Michael Owen at Barca is a perfect fit. The move would elevate both player and club to a level that they were both used to. Can't think of a more mutually beneficial move.
Brian A Walters
Sobrino will never be elected as president. He is damaging club moral with his tirade. Beckham is the best thing that has happened to Real Madrid in terms of having a high profile. Sobrino just wants publicity to raise his own profile for election.
I find myself concurring with Sr. Enrique Sobrino's view, at least in regards to Luis Figo and Roberto Carlos. I am not so sure about David Beckham, however, given his relatively more recent arrival at the club. As his personal life shows signs of maladjustment, however, it may not be a bad idea for Becks to moves out too.
In fact, I am more of the view that, instead of relying on "galactic" players, RMFC would be better equipped if its composition was of more down-to-earth but solidly performing and team-minded players instead.
Since most of the "galactic" players in the RMFC squad are of midfielders and strikers, moreover, I think it is definitely about time to train up or acquire a few stellar defenders to be in charge of the rear and prevent being caught off-guard in counter-attacks.
And, last but not least, in the long run RMFC should focus on training up and relying on its own soccer talents - with its strong brand, it would have little difficulty recruiting the cream of the crop worldwide and developing them into future Rauls and Hierros.
William Fung, Hong Kong
I will make it short and sweet, his home country let him go. Spain acts like they don't want him either, out of all the great players in the world nobody has the talent, and the personality to go with it like Beckham.
I say send Beckham over here and let him play in the United States, for the Dallas Burn! Oh and while your at it, us Irish Americans wouldn't mind having Keane too!
Enrique Sobrino has got it spot on. Beckham is undoubtedly a great player, but by his sacrifice Real Madrid could actually buy two top notch central defenders to move the team forward.
Zidane, Raul, Ronaldo and Figo have all settled at Real and the departure of Beckham would have the least impact. The money gained can be used to increase the quality of the overall depth of the squad and the Galacticos can then prevent the kind of upset that happened in Monaco.
I think that Sobrino would be crazy to sell Beckham after one season in La Liga. My reasons for this are that he has played well in every game and Madrid usually struggle when he is not there. Beckham has been forced to play a defensive role in the squad because Perez messed up in the transfer market.
I think Beckham will be a better player next season if Madrid buy a defensive midfielder and a defender. Furthermore Sobrino must be really insane because there is no way he can get Ronaldinho from Barcelona, and is using him to get elected like Joan Laporta used Beckham has is ticket into the president's seat.
Beckham made a real mistake when he joined the Spanish club. As is often the case with the big clubs in Spain, internal and external power-plays by the club's controlling authorities cause disruptions for players and managers. This together with Beckham's home life, could result in him being a pawn for the clubs political intrigues.
Real stand to lose out on Beckham's potential departure. Should he return to England, he will be a great asset to any club. Chelsea could certainly benefit by having him and it would probably benefit his home life. Beckham will have an opportunity at Euro 2004 to show all of Europe his abilities and personality, which make him a desirable club acquisition, no matter where he goes.
As for Madrid, they could now be on the verge of slipping into the clubs dark days again.
Excellent story. I enjoyed the comments by Sobrino, and I totally agree with him.
Beckham is a role player. I am not a fan of his, however in this case I think he is an easy target being used for political reasons only.
I have watched him set up goals for the likes of Ronaldo, Zidane etc.. for a while now. Real's downfall is too much emphasis on high-powered offense and a star-studded lineup and not enough workmen in the back.
They need to spend more money in the backfield so they are not so vulnerable to the counter. Now they are talking about trying to get Ronaldinho. I am a huge fan of his but how much better off they would be with someone like Rio Ferdinand?