Raúl (footballer)

Raúl (footballer)

Raúl González Blanco (born 27 June 1977), commonly known as Raúl, is a Spanish footballer who plays for the Qatar Stars League club Al Sadd as a striker. Raúl was born in the San Cristóbal de los Ángeles neighborhood of Madrid where he played for the local youth team before moving to the Atlético Madrid youth team. He later moved to Real Madrid's youth side and played at various levels. In 1994 he signed his first professional contract with the fourth division team Real Madrid C and then was swiftly promoted to the first division team.

Raúl spent 16 years of his career playing for Real Madrid and is the club's all-time top goalscorer with 323 goals in 741 appearances. With The Whites, he won six La Liga titles, three UEFA Champions League titles, four Supercopa de España titles, one UEFA Cup and two Intercontinental Cup becoming the Champions League's all-time leading goalscorer and most capped player. In 2003, he was appointed captain of the team and retained that position until his departure from the club in 2010.

Following a season that saw him plagued by injuries, he moved to German side Schalke 04 in 2010. After a slow start to his season, Raúl regained his form and helped his team win the DFB-Pokal and the DFL-Supercup by scoring goals at crucial junctures. He scored 28 goals in 66 appearances during his 2 year stay at Schalke 04. After declining to sign an extension of his contract at Schalke 04, he signed with the Qatari side Al Sadd in 2012.

Though he did not win any major competitions while playing for the Spanish national football team, he scored a record 44 goals in 102 appearances for the national side, appearing in three FIFA World Cups and two European championships. He took over the captaincy of the side in 2002 and held it for 4 years till 2006, also the year in which he played his last international match for Spain. Raúl is married to model Mamen Sanz and has five children with her.

Read more about Raúl (footballer):  International Career, Personal Life