It’s been almost sixteen years since Raul first broke into the Real Madrid first team and, 723 games and 324 goals later, the Real legend may have just played his last game for the club. Raul may have scored the opening goal in Real’s 2 – 1 win over Zaragoza at the weekend but he limped off injured and it’s been confirmed that he’ll miss the rest of the current season. This comes just a week after Raul admitted that he may leave his boyhood club at the end of the season.
Struggling to break into the first team ahead of on-form Gonzalo Higuain and big money signing Cristiano Ronaldo, Raul’s role at Real has decreased dramatically and he feels ready to move on with his records as the club’s top goalscorer of all time already claimed. Asked where his future lies, Raul recently declared
“At the moment I’m not going to retire. I hope that my contract is renewed but we’ll see what happens at the end of the season. Above all I want to continue playing football.”
Still just 32, Raul has a few years left in him. He scored 24 goals for Real last season and can still prove a capable goalscorer given the chance. The problem is that said chance is unlikely to occur at Real with a number of big money signings around for him to compete with for a starting position.
It has been suggested in the past that Raul’s future lies in the big money regions of the MLS where he can play out the rest of his career in luxury. Raul is unlikely to want to remain in Spain as he can’t see himself playing for another Spanish club and a move to America could be an option. But there will be other options out there for Raul and teams from big European leagues will be interested in signing him. A move to the likes of AC Milan, who know how to treat older players, could be beneficial for the currently-flagging career of the Real veteran.
Wherever Raul does end up, he’ll fancy himself to become a success with his new team and whichever team does sign him will likely value him enough to give him more than enough first team opportunities. Will top-level football in another big European league be the ticket for the Real legend or does a easy income in the States seem right for the legendary forward? A new contract at Real is also not out of the question, but would that be the right choice for Raul? He’ll be aware of how difficult it’ll be to get into the first team and will surely make a calculated decision.