Interview with Real Madrid legend Raul: "I will be happy when Ronaldo breaks my records"
Former Spanish forward Raul Gonzalez is now 37 years old, but he continues to play football and is highly motivated to keep scoring goals. Now playing for New York Cosmos, he has already found the net many times in his first few games there, once again proving his world class quality.
Raul spoke exclusively to Sportskeeda and revealed his desire for Cristiano Ronaldo to break his records at Real Madrid. He also hopes to return to Madrid in a new role once he gains enough experience.
Although he is at the end of his career, he has the will to continue playing despite having already made plans after retirement. Here are a few excerpts from the interview.
Q. You are in a team where one of the greatest footballers of all time, Pele, once played. Was that a reason for you to sign there after your career in Real Madrid, Schalke and Al Sadd?
The Cosmos have a great history; they are one of the first American teams to put soccer on the map in the USA. So yes, it’s exciting for me to join a team like this.
Q. What are the immediate goals of New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League (NASL)? How would you compare the NASL with the relatively more popular Major League Soccer (MLS)?
Their history is well known, but the Cosmos want to have a big future – that is really important. I'm here at a moment in time when soccer is taking its stronghold in the USA.
And we are trying to grow the NASL. From what I have seen, the NASL and MLS are very similar competitively.
Q. Your debut was memorable and you did what you have always done – score goals. What is your motivation now that you are 37 years old?
People keep asking me if I want to keep playing at 37, but I still enjoy it, I love going to training and spending time with my teammates.
The NASL is a competitive league, a physically demanding league with organized teams, and I know it will be a good challenge for me. I feel good and am excited to play here and start this new experience.
Q. After your exit, Cristiano Ronaldo has taken your place as the biggest draw at Real Madrid. What can you say about his achievements so far? Do you think that he will surpass your legacy as Real Madrid's greatest superstar?
I think now Ronaldo is at the top, and if continues the same way, he could be one of the best of all time. He’s already one of the best players in the history of the game.
I am sure Ronaldo will beat my club record for goals, and I will be happy for him.
Q. What are your plans for life after retirement? Will you ever consider moving to Madrid in a coaching role?
My plan is to build an academy and work on that project with the Cosmos when I retire. It won’t take six months for this kind of project, but I’m committed to being here with the Cosmos now.
If I return to Spain at any given time, for obvious reasons it would probably be with Real Madrid. Whatever I’m doing here now with the Cosmos would be a great experience to go and apply with Real Madrid, or anywhere else. This is a great project that I’m very eager to embrace.