7 Top strikers who moved to lesser leagues in the twilight of their careers
Staying at the top of your game as a striker is an extremely difficult task. The demands of the position are immense and not always does one get the requisite protection from bad fouls. Many-a-careers have been destroyed as a result of terrible injuries. Once a striker shows signs of slowing down, he invariably has only two options: retirement or moving on to the lesser leagues. Here’s a list of strikers who switched to lesser leagues in the twilight of their career.
Note: This list excludes players who moved to China or the Middle East during their peak years on a lucrative contract.
#7 Raul Gonzales
Real Madrid legend Raul Gonzales Blanco moved to Qatari side Al Saad (now home to FC Barcelona great Xavi Hernandez) following the expiry of his contract with the Bundesliga giants Schalke in June 2012. He made his debut against Mesaimeer. He guided Al Saad to their first title in 5 years scoring 12 goals in 34 appearances in his first season in Qatar.
His second season with the club was rather underwhelming as he could score only 4 goals in 27 appearances and he announced that he would retire at the end of the season in March 2014.
Raul, however, returned to professional football in the North American Soccer League with New York Cosmos. He made his debut the 1-0 win against Fort Lauderdale Strikers, a club partly owned by his former strike partner at Real Madrid, Ronaldo. Raul scored four times and helped his club clinch the spring season championship. He then scored the winner in a come-from-behind victory against Fort Lauderdale in the semi-finals of the Soccer Bowl. The Cosmos then defeated Ottawa Fury in the final and Raul communicated his decision to retire.