ENGLAND football ace Michael Owen has revealed the behind-the-scenes stories of winning the illustrious Ballon d’Or award.
On Monday the award was won by Lionel Messi for a record eighth time, thanks mostly to the 36-year-old finally lifting the FIFA World Cup with Argentina.
Back in 2001, ex-Liverpool striker Michael Owen became only the fourth English player to win the award and revealed all whilst speaking to children at a football holiday camp yesterday.
The video begins with Owen standing in front of a group of children at a Football Escapes holiday in Dubai as they pose questions to the 43-year-old.
One child asks: “When did you find out [that] you won the Ballon d’Or?”
Owen replies: “I found out [that] I won the Ballon d’Or about ten days, two weeks before it was announced, and I was sworn to secrecy.”
The curious child then follows up by questioning: “How did you get it?”
Owen explains: “So they came down with the trophy and I had to do all the photos at the training ground and then about ten days later when they announced it, they put all those photos I had taken a week or two ago into the press.
“And then I got presented with it on the pitch at Anfield before a game.
“So, in recent years, Ronaldo won it a few years ago – Cristiano Ronaldo – and all the old Real Madrid players who had won the Ballon d’Or, they went to the Bernabeu to present him with the prize before the game.
“But nowadays, in the last few years, they have been doing it in a big ceremony in Paris.”
An adult at the camp then interjects asking: “Would they know now before the ceremony?”
Owen responds: “I would say they would, I would say so.”
The video was posted to social media yesterday with the caption: “Ever wondered what it’s like to win the Ballon d’Or? Here’s Liverpool FC legend and Ballon d’Or winner Michael Owen to explain.”
The clip has since received over 25,000 likes and dozens of comments from users quick to share their opinions on Owen and the Ballon d’Or itself.
One user wrote: “It would be better if they found out on the day.”
Another commented: “Ballon d’Or is a toxic award. so many young players are growing up fixated about winning the Ballon d’Or instead of focusing on proper team trophies.”
A third said: “Michael Owen has the personality and speaking skills of an unbuttered piece of toast.”
Another agreed, adding: “Surprised everyone was still awake listening to him.”
However, another wrote: “What a brilliant player.”
Speaking today (THUR) a spokesperson for Football Escapes said: “This video took place at our football holiday in Dubai at Jumeirah Beach hotel.
“Football Escapes run football holidays for families with ex-Premier League footballers hosting the courses. We are lucky to be joined by Michael Owen this week.”
The Ballon d’Or is decided by journalists across the world who vote for who they believe was the best individual player in the last calendar year.
Michael Owen beat Real Madrid striker Raul and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Oliver Kahn to win the award in 2001 and remains the last British player to be voted the world’s best player.