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Owen Lee Hargreaves (born 20 January 1981) is a footballer who plays as a midfielder for Manchester United and England.

Born in Calgarymarker, Albertamarker, Canadamarker, Hargreaves played with Calgary Foothills as a youth before beginning his professional football career in Germany with Bayern Munich. After seven years with the Munich side – during which time he won four German league titles and the 2001 UEFA Champions League – Hargreaves signed for Manchester United in 2007, winning the Premier League and UEFA Champions League in his first season there.

As a Canadian with a Welsh mother and an English father, Hargreaves was eligible to represent Canada, Wales or England. He opted to play for the England U-21 team in 2000 and was cap by the senior squad the following year. He is the only player to have played for England without having previously lived in the United Kingdommarker, and only the second to have done so without having previously played in the English football league system.

Early life

Hargreaves was born in Calgary, Albertamarker, as the youngest of three children of Margaret and Colin Hargreaves, who had migrated to Canada from the United Kingdom at the start of the 1980s. His father played football for the Bolton Wanderers youth side and also for the Calgary Kickers of the Canadian Soccer League. He has two brothers, Darren and Neil. His eldest brother, Darren, represented Canada at youth level.

Club career

Bayern Munich

Hargreaves moved at the age of sixteen from Calgary Foothills to Bayern Munich on 1 July 1997. He played in the Under-19 team for two and a half years before spending six months with the Amateur team. Whilst with the Under-19s the team reached the final of the German Championship in 1998. They lost in the final to Borussia Dortmund, but only after a penalty shoot-out in Dortmund's Stadion Rote Erdemarker.

On 12 August 2000, Hargreaves played in his first Bundesliga match, making an appearance as a substitute for Carsten Jancker in the 83rd minute. His first start came against SpVgg Unterhaching on 16 September 2000. That season the club were Bundesliga champions and also claimed the UEFA Champions League crown. Hargreaves is one of only two English players to have won a Champions League medal with a non-English club, the other being two-time winner Steve McManaman (who won the Champions League with Real Madrid).

In the 2001–02 season Hargreaves established himself as a first team regular. He made 46 appearances in all, with the club finishing in the Bundesliga, making the quarter finals of the Champions League and being defeated in the DFB Cup by Schalke. The club regained their Bundesliga title in 2002–03, along with the DFB Cup. On 26 January 2003, Hargreaves scored his first Bundesliga goal in the game against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Altogether he made 25 Bundesliga appearances, four in Cup games and three in the Champions League.

2002–03 saw Hargreaves out injured on three separate occasions. In September he tore a thigh muscle, then in October a calf muscle. Towards the end of the season adductor problems meant he missed a further three weeks.

The 2003–04 season was Hargreaves' first with Bayern without winning any silverware. After clinching the double the year before, the Munich side finished second in the Bundesliga, and were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid. Hargreaves made a total of 38 appearances for the club in this season. In 2004–05 he picked up another German championship and DFB Cup. He had 27 appearances in the Bundesliga (one goal), played in three Cup games (two goals) and eight Champions League games. In the 2005–06 season, he added another Bundesliga and Cup title. Hargreaves scored the first goal at the new Allianz Arenamarker in a competitive match on 5 August 2005, against Borussia Mönchengladbach. In all, he had 15 (one goal) league, four (two goals) cup and three Champions League appearances. In October 2005, he extended his contract at Bayern for another four years.

In the 2006–07 season, Hargreaves broke his leg, which kept him out of most of Bayern Munich's league campaign that season. He recovered in time to take part in Bayern's victory over Real Madrid in the Champions League, progressing after an aggregate score of 4–4 thanks to their two away goals in the 3–2 defeat in the first leg at Madrid's Bernabéu.

Manchester United

On 31 May 2007, it was announced that Hargreaves would join Manchester United on 1 July 2007, after almost a year of negotiations between Bayern Munich and United for a fee of around £17 million. Hargreaves was finally unveiled as a Manchester United player on 1 July, having signed a four-year contract with the club. He was then revealed to the press on 9 July, along with fellow newcomer Nani. Hargreaves was given the number 4 shirt at Old Trafford.

Hargreaves made his Manchester United debut in a friendly against Peterborough United on 4 August, coming on as a second half substitute in United's 3–1 victory. He made his first Premier League appearance in Manchester United's third game of the season, in the derby match away to Manchester City in a 1–0 defeat. Hargreaves scored his first league goal for Manchester United against Fulham on 1 March, a free kick from just outside the penalty box. He scored his second league goal for the club on 13 April, a free kick winner against Arsenal. In his first season with Manchester United they won the Premier League and Champions League titles.

The start of Hargreaves' second season at United was hampered by injuries, specifically a recurring patellar tendinitis problem that restricted him to sporadic appearances in 2007–08. After trips to specialists in both London and Sweden yielded no results, Hargreaves travelled to Coloradomarker, United Statesmarker, in November 2008 to visit renowned knee surgeon, Richard Steadman. Hargreaves underwent surgery on his right knee on 10 November 2008 and received a similar operation on his left knee in January 2009. However, this meant that Hargreaves would miss the remainder of the 2008–09 season. Hargreaves underwent his rehabilitation programme in the United States, and was due to return to training with Manchester United at the Audi Cup in Munich. However, upon assessment, it was decided that he should continue with his rehabilitation in the United States. Hargreaves returned to Manchester United on 23 September 2009, joined by his physiotherapist for a week to aid the transition process and for the club to understand his rehabilitation programme.

International career

Born in Canada to a Welsh mother and an English father, Hargreaves was eligible to play international football for any one of England, Wales or Canada. As a youngster he was a regular in the youth setups of Wales, and was set to make his début for the Wales U21 team against the Belarus U21 team in September 2000 but pulled out of the squad after he was approached by England. On 31 August 2000, the then England U21 manager, Howard Wilkinson, called the 19-year-old into his squad for the match against Georgia. The game, played at the Riverside Stadiummarker, Middlesbroughmarker, ended in a 6–1 win for the home team. Further appearances for the U21s followed in friendlies against Italy and Spain.

Hargreaves played his first full international game on 15 August 2001 against the Netherlands at White Hart Lanemarker, giving him the distinction of being the only player to appear for England despite having never lived in England. He was also the second player (after Joe Baker) to have appeared for England without having played in English league football and the first to appear for England without having played in Britainmarker. In only his second cap he came on as a substitute as England famously beat Germany 5-1 in the Olympiastadionmarker. Hargreaves was the only player playing outside the Premier League to be selected for England's 2002 FIFA World Cup squad. Hargreaves was injured after just fifteen minutes of England's second Group game against Argentina and had to be substituted.

Although he had not usually been part of the first choice team, he was selected for the England squads at Euro 2004 in Portugal and the 2006 World Cup in Germany despite criticism from sections of the press and public. The generally negative perception of him by English fans had not been helped by his seeming to have an essence of "German-ness", exacerbated by his Canadian accent and fluency in German. However, in a tournament in which England were generally regarded as having underachieved, he was, by the end of England's participation, widely considered one of the few successes of the English squad. He was named Man of the match in the quarter final against Portugal, the game in which England were eliminated after a penalty shootout, Hargreaves having been the only successful English penalty taker. In 2006, he won both England Player of the Year, and England Player of the World Cup in official FA polls, the first to win both in the same year.

Hargreaves picked up the Man of the match award in England's 4–0 win over Greece on 18 August 2006, where he first took over the number seven shirt of former captain David Beckham. On 30 January 2007 he was voted England Player of the Year 2006, as voted for by visitors to the Official FA site.

In June 2007, FIFA announced that Hargreaves and Philipp Lahm would visit South Africa in advance support for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Career statistics

Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Bayern Munich 2000–01 14 0 1 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 19 0
2001–02 29 0 4 0 0 0 14 0 0 0 47 0
2002–03 25 1 5 1 0 0 5 0 0 0 35 2
2003–04 25 2 3 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 34 2
2004–05 27 1 3 2 1 0 8 0 0 0 38 3
2005–06 16 1 4 2 0 0 3 0 0 0 22 3
2006–07 9 0 1 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 15 0
Total 145 5 21 5 1 0 45 0 0 0 212 10
Manchester United 2007–08 23 2 3 0 0 0 8 0 0 0 34 2
2008–09 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 0
2009–10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 25 2 3 0 0 0 9 0 0 0 37 2
Career total 170 7 24 5 1 0 54 0 0 0 249 12


Honours

Club

Bayern Munich


Manchester United


Individual

  • Bravo Award: 2001
  • 2001 European U-21 Player of the Year
  • England Player of the Year: 2006


References

  1. {{cite news |first=Gemma |last=Thompson |coauthors=& Hibbs, Ben |title=Wes out, Fletcher a doubt |curly=y |url=http://www.manutd.com/default.sps?pagegid={F9E570E6-407E-44BC-800F-4A3110258114}&newsid=6622115 |publisher=Manchester United |date=7 November 2008 |accessdate=7 November 2008 }}
  2. {{cite news |first=Ben |last=Hibbs |title=Hargreaves closer to returning |url=http://www.manutd.com/default.sps?pagegid={F9E570E6-407E-44BC-800F-4A3110258114}&newsid=6638568 |work=ManUtd.com |publisher=Manchester United |date=28 August 2009 |accessdate=29 August 2009 }}
  3. "Wales wont give up on Hargreaves" BBC Sport Retrieved on 22 February 2008
  4. Hargreaves and Lahm to visit South Africa, www.fifa.com, June 8, 2007
  5. Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup


External links




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