Liverpool Football Club have hired on their first official International Ambassador, and the person they've chosen for the job is... drumroll... Michael Owen.
The former Liverpool striker is certainly a large figure in the club's recent history, having played seven seasons with the Reds. Owen was a product of the Liverpool youth system and made his senior debut with the club some twenty years ago. He also remains the last Englishman and only Liverpool player to ever win the Ballon d'Or while at the club, when he was awarded it back in 2001. His prolific Liverpool career saw him notch 158 goals in 297 appearances, and he was part of the 2001 treble-winning team, among other honors.
Still, this is news that will have some scratching their heads due to the way that Owen's relationship with the fans soured after his controversial move to Real Madrid in 2004. Things got even worse when he began playing for Liverpool's bitter rivals, Manchester United, late in his career. While his service to the club in his younger days was appreciated, he's not a player that would be first on many people's lists to become the face of the club abroad at "fan and commercial events."
For his part, Owen has released an enthusiastic statement:
"As a Liverpool fan I am honoured and delighted to have been asked to play this international role for the club. Liverpool FC is the world's greatest football family and it's great for me to be able to represent the club in an official capacity once again."
This is an interesting choice, to say the least, and only time will tell how it will play out.