England's Frank Lampard pays tribute to retiring striker Michael Owen
Frank Lampard says Michael Owen will go down as one of England's greats after learning of his decision to retire.
Last Updated: 19/03/13 4:20pm
Owen has announced that he will hang up his boots in the summer when his contract with Stoke City comes to an end.
As well as a successful club career, Owen also excelled at international level, scoring 40 goals in 89 games for England, and Lampard paid a fitting tribute at a news conference ahead of Friday's World Cup qualifier with San Marino.
"He had a fantastic career. He is the sort of player you are very proud to play alongside," Lampard said on Sky Sports News.
"I think he will go down in our history in England as one of the greatest goalscorers and strikers we have had, so he deserves very high praise."
Asked for his abiding memory of Owen's England career, Lampard picked his stunning goal as an 18-year-old against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup ahead of his hat-trick in Germany.
He said: "I think the hat-trick in Munich was obviously fantastic. He was at the top of his game then, but to come on against Argentina at his age and score a goal of such eye-catching quality, and as a fan watching it was something very special and really stuck in the mind."
Speaking about Owen's England record, Lampard added: "A huge achievement. Without some injury problems at the latter end he would probably have gone on to break all the records, with goalscoring and 100 caps, but there should be no real frustration for him because his career was absolutely top drawer for both club and country."