Raúl: "My Real Madrid send-off could have been a bit better..."
The eternal captain is the front cover star of this month's 'Panenka' magazine and touched on several topics in a comprehensive interview...
Raúl González is the front cover star in the latest edition of Panenka magazine. During a lengthy interview with Lorena González, the eternal captain looked back at his low-key exit from Real Madrid in the summer of 2010 following 17 years with the first team and ahead to a new spell in his career after returning home from the United States.
Raúl talks about his discreet exit from Real Madrid
No fanfares on leaving Real Madrid: “Leaving Real Madrid wasn't easy for me, and nor was it easy for the club, but by the time I had made my decision and it had happened, it was already summer. In Germany, the club knew three months in advance and they could prepare my farewell. Also, Germans are very organized. So it was more down to circumstances rather than a lack of affection from the club or bad feeling. It could have been better but it just turned out that way and time puts everything in its place. Three years later I was given a testimonial match in which I could experience the support of the fans. I hope that one day, those who have spent a long time at the club can be given a decent send-off. That's what the club wants to do”.
Original plan was very different: “When I was 30, my dream was to retire at Real Madrid but, when the moment arrived, I felt that I needed to take another step; I needed other things. I'm sure that there will be more cases like Totti and Xavi... although nowadays, everyone is always in a hurry and there is very little patience".
Roma roll out the red carpet for legend Totti
Totti's farewell: “It was very moving, Rome is his home and that's where he feels he belongs; he's given his whole life to Roma and as a player he will be eternally linked to the club. I think that kind of recognition is worth more than the trophies he has won with them".
The future: “My dream is to be involved with Real Madrid for a long time. I don't know whether I will always be locked away in the back offices. I'd like to be a coach, but I still don't really feel an overriding urge to do it just yet. Now I'll be going back to Madrid, my natural habitat, where I can manage my life better. In a couple of years we'll see where the tides have taken me. The first step was returning home”.
The need to teach Real Madrid's values: "I'm keen to help, we all have our own ways of viewing football, and they're all valid. I can contribute my experience - as I did with those were came into the first team during my playing days. When I first made the first team, it was players like Hierro, Chendo and Sanchís who took me under their arm and looked after me. I'd like to help the young lads who enter the club. We have to instil concepts like a strong work ethic and humility. We can help society because we are privileged and a lot of children look up to us".
Raul's near misses with the Ballon d'Or and EURO 2008
Regrets: "I don't have any. You know, of course I would have liked to have won the Ballon d'Or once, but I did everything I could to win it. It's an award that you can never really tell how the criteria behind is gauged. I would have liked to have won something with the national team too, but then I enjoyed all of their successes as a fan. I played for Spain for 10 years, and played in World Cup finals so there were lots of great moments that I was part of".
Quitting international football: "That hurt me because I wanted to continue, but I had to respect the coach's decision - just like on the occasions when he left other players out so that he could include me. I thought that I still had something to offer, in fact, I played for another six years after that. With time I was able to accept it. What happened in certain aspects was actually positive for my career. I would have liked to the have been at EURO 2008 and been part of that success. But it's more important how people treat me now I am back in Spain. I knew that I had to come back one day, this is my home and I am really looking forward to making a contribution at Real Madrid".