Raul has signed a two year deal with German Bundesliga club FC Schalke 04 and for the club in Königsblau (royal blue) it is one of the biggest signings ever. Spanish legend Raúl González Blanco leaves Real Madrid after 18 long years and has surprisingly joined the Ruhr valley club, who unveiled their new signing today infront of over 150 journalists, photographers and a dozen TV crews.
The former Real Madrid club captain has been playing for the royals since joining them from city rivals Atletico Madrid in 1992. And he is the club's all-time highest goalscorer with 323 goals in 741 matches. He also happens to be the highest goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League with 66 goals. Also Raul has played 102 times for Spain scoring 44 goals, which until recently was a record before David Villa went past the mark.
Schalke coach Felix Magath told the club website: "It's great news for FC Schalke 04, I am pleased that we have succeeded in such an exceptional footballer and world-class striker switching to the Bundesliga for Schalke 04. He will be an inspiration. His qualities will help us."
Magath added, "His commitment is a crucial step in our efforts to strengthen the squad for future tasks, and to restructure. I look forward to working with this good professional."
To many Raul signing a contract for Schalke might come as a surprise, but the deal has been in the pipelines for some time though other clubs, especially from the English Premier League, still hoped to sign the Spaniard at the last moment. The deal has been made possible by Raul's former and new team mate Christoph Metzelder. Metzelder left Real Madrid in the summer for Schalke after a last season where he was not really part of the team, but Raul was one of the players with whom he got along well. Raul also told Metzelder that he was looking to leave the club if he wouldn't get more playing time. And Metzelder let his new coach Felix Magath know that Raul was available once at the club and over the last few weeks Schalke have been pursuing to bring Raul to the club. Now they have their catch prize as Raul will have to replace Kevin Kuranyi who left for Moscow, but was good for 12 to 15 goals a season.