Football: Real Tell Owen: Shut Up or Leave

Article excerpt

Byline: By MARTIN LIPTON, Chief Football Writer

MICHAEL OWEN was given a clear "stop whingeing" message by Real Madrid last night.

The England striker has not hidden his frustration at the lack of game-time he was given under three different Bernabeu coaches last season.

With Real set to bolster their striking options by signing Brazilian Robinho in a pounds 25million deal, Owen's prospects of more matches next season looks even bleaker. And yesterday the former Liverpool star was told in no uncertain terms that he must either accept his status or get on his bike.

Real's Brazilian coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo pulled no punches as he emphatically put Owen, Portuguese legend Luis Figo and Spain midfielder Guti in their place.

All three have admitted their unhappiness at being forced to play bit-part roles but Luxemburgo said: "If you are here it is to be a member of the squad.

"Owen and Figo have contracts and should be here. Whether they are going to play or not is a different story but they are Real Madrid players.

"If you are only here to play and can't accept a squad system, then you should go. …