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After 16 Seasons, Raul Says Goodbye To Real Madrid

After 16 seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, Raúl is moving on, having said goodbye to Real Madrid on Monday.  The now former captain made his announcement in front of fans and club officials ahead of a possible move to Germany or England.

"This is a very tough and difficult day.

"Football has been my life and Real Madrid my home. Together we have lived unique moments.

"I feel like a footballer still and I will keep on playing but I will always be loyal to Real Madrid. I have tried to give everything in my time here.

"A new period starts today. I have been happy at Real Madrid and I will always be willing to help the club in whatever it needs."

Raúl Gonzáelz leaves Real Madrid having scored 323 goals in 741 appearances for the club (both records), along the way setting records for most goals scored for Spain (44 in 102 matches) and in the UEFA Champions League (64).  The striker was a member of teams that won six Primera Divisions, four Spanish Supercopas, three Champions Leagues, and two Intercontinental Cups.

Last season, Raúl's goal total dropped from 18 (in 2008-09) to five as the captain lost his place in Manuel Pellegrini's starting XI.  Pellegrini was replaced by José Mourinho earlier this off-season, but the new coach had asked Raúl and midfielder Guti to stay away from training as the futures of both talismanic players were resolved.  Two days after Guti announced his departure from the club, Raúl has made his exit official.

Now Raúl looks close to a move to Germany, where Schalke 04 coach Felix Magath has commented on the veteran's eventual arrival.  The Spaniard would not, however, eliminate England as a possible landing point.

"I have had very deep discussions with Schalke but there are other teams that are also interested. My future lies in Germany or England," he said.