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Man Utd's Owen backtracks in order to placate Liverpool fans

Former Liverpool, and now Manchester United, striker Michael Owen has played down his comments about being at the biggest club in the world before his return to Anfield. The manner of Owen's departure from Anfield to Real Madrid in 2004 is still a contentious one for fans, who have never forgiven the former youth team star for threatening to run down the final year of his contract and leave for nothing.

"I didn't set out to offend anyone," explained the 29-year-old.

"What I said was, in terms of support, revenue and stadium, Man United are probably the biggest in the world but Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool are up there with them in other areas.

"In saying that, I'm sure things I've said at different times over the last 20 years will be dredged up and turned into back-page stories over the next two weeks.

"I've been back before with Newcastle a couple of times, so I've played there for an opposing team, but I'm certainly looking forward to this game. It will be different, it'll be a bit noisier."

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