(RAUL – He holds the all-time Spain scoring record for with 44 goals in 102 appearances, one more goal than David Villa.)
A 17-year-old Raul Gonzalez made his Santiago Bernabeu debut 16 years ago from an internal development programme of Madrid, in 1992 after a brief stint in the youth setup of city rivals Atletico. The 33 year old’s background then was the punchline of most of the famous people, that of poverty and financial lack. I remember one interview where he thanked God for the success he has, saying he marvels at his kids when they think all the children’s fathers appear on TV as well.
Raul’s impact on the game as a single player rivalled that of the pair of Gianluca Vialli and Fabricio Ravanelli of Italian giants Juventas. By the time he was between 18 and 23, the Gallatico were actually called RAUL MADRID by the fans.
In his distinguished career which knows no other club, Raul won six Spanish league titles and the Champions League thrice, netting the ball 323 times in 741 appearances in all competitions, according to the club’s website.
Raul has equalled German Gerd Mueller’s record of 66 goals in the three main European club competitions when he scored against Milan in the Champions League last October. With amazing statistic figures like these, there is no doubt that he is a larger than life character, a man embossed in the hearts of Spanish people, especially Real Madrid fans.
Real Madrid are finally letting go, and they have good reasons.It is a moment of an end of an epoch era of incredulity by a true sportsman. He now wants to go to the Bundesliga, or the Premiership for that matter. Can anybody tell me what for?