Many football fans were left surprised in 2001 as the Ballon d’Or was awarded to 21-year-old Liverpool striker Michael Owen in 2001. The England striker undoubtedly had a season to remember, helping Liverpool win the League Cup, FA Cup, and the UEFA Cup during 2000/2001.
Owen managed a remarkable 24 goals for Liverpool as well as scoring six goals in eight England appearances during the 2000/2001 season. So, why were fans surprised he took home the prestigious award? Well, another striker who had a prolific season that year was Real Madrid’s Raul. The Spaniard led the line as Los Blancos also enjoyed a winning season, claiming their 28th La Liga title.
Although missing out on the Champions League final Raul still finished as the competitions’ top scorer and managed to find the back of the net 33 times in a total of 50 games throughout the 2000/2001 season.