He told The Sun: "Obviously, Michael has other interests outside football and everyone knows about his great love of horse racing.
"But there's no doubt in my mind it's still football he loves first and foremost. If that wasn't the case, he wouldn't be heading back to places like Anfield and Old Trafford with Stoke and putting his reputation on the line.
"If Michael really didn't love football any more, he has enough money now to turn it in and retire a wealthy man.
"He could have called it a day if he wanted to concentrate on his horses when he parted company with Manchester United in the summer.
"But he still has the hunger, determination, desire and drive to come here and try to be a success with Stoke. I think that tells you all you need to know about Michael Owen and his desire to do well here."