Real Madrid’s golden boy and captain Raul Gonzales ended his 15 year association with the Spanish giants early this week in what had to be the saddest moment for him, the club and their fans.
The 33 year old striker had a glittering career with Madrid where he made history as being the only player never to have been red carded in his 15 seasons with Los Blancos. Raul is also one of the very few players who was able to perform equally well for his national side Spain.
His European career is equally impressive. He holds the distinction as being the first player to score 50 Champions League goals and is also the competition’s leading goal scorer with 66 goals in 128 appearances the most by any player.
He is also Spain’s all time leading goal scorer with 44 goals in 102 appearances. Raul and Guti’s departure from Madrid marks the end of an era for the 9 time European Champions.
Guti has decided to end his career in Turkey with Besiktas while Raul has signed with German powerhouse Schalke 04. Both have signed 2 year contracts.
Raul can expect to play against former team mate Ruud Van Nistelrooy who moved to Harmburg SV last summer after being dimmed surplus to requirements by former Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini.
Former Chelsea player Michael Ballack also returned to Germany to play for Bayer Leverkusen after his Chelsea contract run out. With other stars like Schweinsteiger, Ribery, Oezil, Khedira, Klose, and Podolski, the Bundesliga is gaining in reputation as as a premier destination for some of the world’s best players.
Only time will prove if it can match the likes of the EPL or La Liga. However, as for now, the Bundesliga can bask in the glory of landing another world class player.
Photo credit: from galeria_futbolera