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Rejuvenated Owen targets World Cup

SoccerNews in English Premier League, World Cup 2 Aug 2009

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Michael Owen believes his move to Manchester United can help propel him into Fabio Capello’s England squad for the World Cup finals.

The 29-year-old striker has no doubt that he can still force his way back into the set-up despite an injury-plagued spell at relegated Newcastle which contributed to his international exile.

“My mind’s been thinking about that since I was three years old in the back garden, and nothing has changed,” Owen told told FourFourTwo magazine.

“Winning the World Cup is the ultimate – it’s still my dream.”

Owen also hit back at his critics who insist he is past his best and could struggle at Old Trafford where the summer exits of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez have piled more pressure onto his shoulders.

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce and Wigan owner David Whelan both distanced themselves from a move for Owen.

“If that was how they were perceiving me, fine, because the greatest accolade I could have is that Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t think about that,” Owen

“I can quietly sit here and and look around where I am now – and if anyone else wants to look at what they’ve said, then they might feel embarrassed. I don’t feel I have to impress these people.

“I only need to prove things to people who believe in me. I want to show Sir Alex was right to believe in me.”

Owen is unfazed about the challenge of filling the gap left by the departures of Tevez and Ronaldo.

“The team has lost two players – Tevez, who scored a few, and Ronaldo who got lots over the last two seasons,” he said.

“There’s a big hole to fill, and I hope I can help plug it in terms of goals. I can’t do it on my own – but I will help out.

“When you sign for United you get excited about a lot of things. One of them, I hope, is scoring a lot of goals – because I am going to get a lot more chances here than at other teams.”

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