Leicester gain inspiration from Real Madrid legend Raúl
Christian Fuchs, his old team mate at Schalke, admitted that he regularly put on videos of Madrid's eternal captain to inspire the rest of the Leicester squad.
On 26 July 2010, Raúl González brought to an end 16 years of service with Real Madrid - during which time he converted himself into a club icon and, in the words of Fernando Hierro, football's equivalent of a Ferrari. Before Cristiano had arrived at the club 12 months earlier, it was Raúl who had been rewriting club history. The eternal captain left for Germany, to join Schalke, where he would enjoy another two years of success. In Gelsenkirchen, Raúl showed the same dedication, determination, loyalty, professionalism and quality which had made him a household name back home in Spain. He made 98 appearances for Schalke, scoring 42 goals in two seasons. And that wasn't all, he left a marked impression on many of his team mates - including defender Christian Fuchs.
Fuchs in awe of Raúl
Fuchs is now 33 and in England with Leicester. The Austrian player has confessed that the only time he has been really in awe during his career was during the time he spent alongside Raúl at Schalke. So much so, he says he often puts on videos of the No.7 to show his Leicester team mates was an inspiration he was, and still is. “I regularly show the lads at Leicester videos of Raúl, from when I used to play with him. He was incredible. He wasn't just a great footballer, he was a gentleman and one of the nicest players I have ever played alongside,” he told Goal.com.
Fuchs continued with his admiration for the Castilla coach: "For me, it was simply a dream come true when he joined because he was one of those players who, when I was a kid, seemed like one of the big stars of the game. Then all of a sudden, you have the chance to play alongside him, pass him the ball so that he can score… I think that was the first and last time I was starstruck in football. This person you admired for years before and now you are in the same changing room as him. How much better can it get? So, of course, that was my first impression…”.
And Fuchs is not the only former Schalke player who has expressed respect for Raúl. Last week, Ivan Rakitic, who spent the 2010-2011 season with the madridista before signing for Sevilla, posted a photograph on social media of the two of them celebrating a goal. “Remembering old times,” he wrote, with hashtags #raul and #leyenda. The Croatian has always held the former Madrid and Spain No.7 in high esteem: “I learned so much from him, on and off the pitch he is a magnificent person. At Schalke, he was like a father figure to us. I've very grateful for the time I spent with him," Rakitic said. Eight years after his departure to join Al-Sadd, the impact which Raúl had in Gelsenkirchen has not been forgotten.
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