Last updated : 23 August 2004 By editor

Owen said: "Money never came into it, just pure ambition. To have stayed would have been like anyone turning down a promotion. If you are going to be considered as a top, top player then you have to win the league. I would be lying if I did not admit I spent a couple of days wondering if I shouldn’t just stay at Liverpool."

"Part of my brain was saying ‘just let your career run down, you’re safe here, your family is around you, everyone likes you.’ But the majority of me was being ambitious. I had 10 days to make up my mind and, for eight of them, I felt the drive to better myself as a person and player. The England manager was among those who said I would benefit from the fresh challenge. I gave 100 per cent in every game for Liverpool but when you have been somewhere for 13 years, maybe it all comes too naturally. Now I have to prove myself at Real. I expect I’ll have to sit on the bench once or twice but so will everyone."

"Jonathan Woodgate joining is more good news. As well as another English speaker it shows Real are strengthening. I don’t really know him but we did once meet at a Manchester United trial when we were 12 or 13."