Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has revealed he studied Italian in preparation for a move to Inter after the 1998 World Cup.
The former England international broke through at Anfield, where he spent eight years between 1996 and 2004 before moving on to Real Madrid, but things could have turned out very differently for him as a teenager.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Owen revealed that there was a possibility for him to move to many Italian clubs and that there was in fact contact with Inter.
“After the World Cup in 1998, when I was at Liverpool, there was interest from Italian clubs,” Owen said.
“My manager at the time was the same as David Platt’s and he had a good relationship with many presidents.
“There was certainly contact with Massimo Moratti’s Inter, and certainly with a couple of Italian clubs.
He also admitted that due to the possibility of a move to the Italy that he even started taking Italian lessons to prepare himself although in the end no move ever transpired.
“I remember taking Italian lessons in case I had to go abroad.
“It never happened, but when I was young, Italian football was the best in the world.”
After just one season in Madrid, Owen returned home to play for Newcastle United for four years before three seasons at Manchester United and a one-year stint with Stoke City, after which he announced his retirement from football.