Raul says he was happy when Barcelona won the UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid legend, Raul, admits he was really happy when arch-rivals, Barcelona, went on to win the UEFA Champions League. The Catalan club won the 2015 Champions League by beating Juventus in the finals.
The Spanish legend won the coveted UEFA Champions League three times during his sixteen-year spell at Real Madrid but said he wasn't afraid of praising the 'enemy' in public. "When they (Barca) win the Champions League, I am glad. In the end, it is a Spanish team and I have no problem saying that publicly," he said in an interview with Vanity Fair.
"The rivalry helps the two clubs: Barca would not be without Madrid and vice versa – they need each other. Why would I wish harm to anyone? It is not within my personality," he added.
Spanish teams top the list when it comes to most number of Champions Leagues won. While Atletico Madrid and Sevilla have reached one final each, Real Madrid and Barcelona combined have won 'club football's biggest trophy' fifteen times: Real winning it ten times and Barcelona winning it five times.
Raul praises former Barcelona players and calls Pep Guardiola 'one of the best'
The relationship between people related with Real Madrid and Barcelona has gone sour over the past few years given the Champions League trophy drought Madrid went through and given how former coach, Jose Mourinho, brought his hate of the Catalan with him when he took over in 2010.
Raul, however, says there was some sort of mutual respect between both set of players when he was in the club. He picks out a few of their players and one of their best managers; "(Pep and I) liked football. The rivalry was very nice, the same as it was with (Carles) Puyol or Xavi," Raul said.
"Pep and I played together for the national team and there was always chemistry. He is one of the best coaches in history."