Raul has bid farewell to the Bernabeu on Monday after 16 years of service for Real Madrid and revealed that his future lies “in Germany or England.”
An emotional Raul admitted that it was a tense day for him, before paying tribute to the club, staff and fans. He leaves as Real’s all-time leading goalscorer and the all-time leading scorer in the Champions League.
“Today is a day of intense feeling for me, I want to thank everyone,” Raul said. “I would like to tell the fans that in every run, every tackle, I’ve always given everything. I’ve always given 100% for this club.”
Raul was expected to join Bundesliga club Schalke on a two-year deal but has hinted that there is interest for him in England.
“Schalke is interested in me and I have had very deep discussions with them,” he said. “In a few days I will know whether I’ll be going to the Bundesliga, but there are other teams that are also interested. What is clear is that my future lies in Germany or England.”
Raul has won six La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues, four Spanish Super Cups and one UEFA Super Cup, as well as becoming the first player to score in two Champions League finals, against Valencia and Bayer Leverkusen in 2000 and 2002 respectively. In total the striker scored 323 goals in 740 games for Real.
“I would like to thank all the presidents, especially Florentino Perez, who has always tried to take this club forward,” he said. “I have always been made to feel welcome.
“I want to thank the players, coaches, managers and staff who I have worked with day in day out.
“Today is a new start for me. 16 years ago I pulled on the white shirt for the first time. My heart will always be with Madrid. Real Madrid is my life and my home.
“This is my last chance to experience a foreign league. I am 33 and wanted to experience new training techniques and a new language and culture for my family.”
Club president Florentino Perez also paid tribute to the departing player.
“We will never forget Raul,” he said. “There are many men who form part of the legend of Real Madrid, but few that are chosen to embody the club – Raul is one of those.”
Raul will be succeeded by Iker Casillas as club captain.