Regarded as one of the most clinical strikers in the Premier League, Michael Owen was used to performing at the highest level when he took to the field.
And speaking in the fourth part of "Inside Matters", a series of exclusive interviews with football stars about the mental challenges they have faced, the youngest player to score a Premier League hat-trick reveals how he struggled during his final season at Stoke City when he found he was not at the top of his game.
"I just hated not being the Michael Owen of old, and I hated coming to the ball thinking - I should be sprinting now, that's what Michael Owen does, but I can't," he said.
"I was thinking about my game instead of it being instinctive which it always was.
"Sad to say I was actually relieved to retire at the end, and not expose me to this mental pain that I was going through.
"Playing a game that I was having to think about, as I say, instead of a game that should have been so instinctive."
Owen also admitted he didn't fully understand the severity of the hamstring injury he suffered against Leeds United in 1999 at the time and how looking back during the latter part of his career that was probably for the best as it didn't allow him to dwell and overthink the situation.