Following Michael Owen's two-goal performance in Manchester United's 3-0 Carling Cup win over Leeds, England manager Fabio Capello has bowed to public pressure and given him both a recall to the national team and the captain's armband.
The 31-year-old injury-prone striker hasn't played for England since 2008 and hasn't played a Premier League match for Man United in nearly a year, but Capello was quick to satisfy the many calls for Owen's inclusion from fans and press alike.
"For many years I thought the League Cup wasn't the most important competition in this country," Capello said at a press conference announcing his decision. "But after Michael scored his two goals against a team with as many losses as wins in the second division, I now understand how important it is. And since Michael has achieved so much in it while United's starters rest, I now see that he is the future of the national team."
Currently fourth on England's all-time leading scorers list and Manchester United's fifth-choice striker, Owen was quick to express his excitement on social networking site Twitter.
He said: "I'm honored to be the new England captain, but this doesn't mean I'll have to play every match does it?"
When asked if he was worried about losing yet another one of his players to England duty in Michael Owen, Sir Alex Ferguson chuckled and replied, "Not really."
- Michael Owen
- Manchester United