Owen: Playing for 'successful' club pivotal

Manchester United striker Michael Owen has revealed that the opportunity to continue playing - albeit sporadically - for a club as successful as the Red Devils outweighed leaving Old Trafford for a 'lesser' side where he would be guaranteed more action.

The England international's initial two-year deal with the Red Devils expired at the end of last season, with the 31-year-old former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle goal-getter making just 17 appearances in all competitions in 2010/11, scoring five times.

However, Owen was still more than happy to extend his stay with Sir Alex Ferguson's side, admitting that being named among the substitutes for United's Champions League final defeat to Barcelona at Wembley convinced him that he wanted to remain with a club that is continually challenging for major honours.

"You want the best of every world as a footballer. You want to be playing at the best club - I'm at that - and you want to be training with the best players and under the best manager - I am certainly doing that," he told the club’s official website.

"You want to play at the best stadiums and in big games and obviously it's near to where I live. There are lots of positives. The only slight negative is the amount I played last season.

"The option is there to go to a lesser club and play more often but I'd prefer to play in a top team with all the things that come with it."

And the striker, who has scored 40 goals in 89 games for his country, said that he expects to play more in 2011/12 having been plagued by injuries last season.

"The first season was great and had some great moments - scoring in the [League] cup final [against Aston Villa ]and the goal against Manchester City, hat-trick in Wolfsburg.

"Last year wasn't quite so good, but the manager has spoken to me and said I'll be firmly in his plans this season. He expects me to play a lot more."