Image: Raul Gonzalez
Former Real Madrid player Raul Gonzalez has joined the long list of the club’s legends who think Los Blancos need to appoint a sporting director. He admits it’s a very important position which can’t be overlooked.
The retired Spanish footballer who played as a striker says it’s sad to see Madrid not having anyone in charge of transfers as Monchi is doing at Sevilla.
Raul, 39, signed his first professional contract with the fourth division team Real Madrid C and then was swiftly promoted to the first division team. The handsome Madrid legend who is also considered as one of the greatest Spanish footballers of all times, spoke with AS about Zinedine Zidane, Vicente del Bosque and other matters.
In his words: “Should Madrid have a sporting director? At the moment…that’s a question for the President. I think having a sporting director is important. Someone to facilitate communication between the club and the staff, and to plan.
“But not only at Madrid, but for all teams.
“It’s a structure I’d always keep. Madrid managed to win the Champions League. But I think it’s necessary for the Coach to be his own man. I like teamwork. And for that we have to have a structure that covers everything and in which there is fluid communication.
“Would the Denis Cheryshev case have not happened with a sporting director? Maybe. If there had been a department for ‘facts’ maybe it wouldn’t have happened. But it could have happened with a sporting director, who knows.
“What I can say is I believe in that structure, with a sporting director, because it helps the Coach a lot if everyone is on the same page. For a lot of people, they’re not on the same page, so forget it.”
Image: Raul Gonzalez
Raul spent 16 years of his career playing for Real Madrid and is the club’s second all-time top goalscorer with 323 goals. He is also the most capped player in the history of the club with 741 appearances, ahead of Sanchís.
With los Blancos, he won six La Liga titles, three UEFA Champions League titles, scoring in two finals, four Supercopa de España titles, one UEFA Super Cup and two Intercontinental Cup.
He is the third highest goalscorer in Champions League history, behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and the fifth most capped player.
In 2003, he was appointed captain of the Madrid team and retained that position until his departure from the club in 2010.
In La Liga competitions, Raúl is the fifth highest goal scorer in the history of the tournament with 228 goals, behind Lionel Messi, Telmo Zarra and fellow Real Madrid legend Hugo Sánchez and Cristiano Ronaldo. He is also the highest Spanish scorer in European leagues, with 256 goals, scoring 228 goals in La Liga and 28 goals in the Bundesliga.
Moreover, he is the second most capped player in the history of the Spanish competition, with 550 games played, just behind Andoni Zubizarreta (622 games).
Leaving Real Madrid in 2010 and signing for Schalke 04, he scored the 400th goal of his career in February 2012. He signed with the Qatari team Al Sadd in 2012 and won the Qatar Stars League in his first season, where he reached 1,000 games played in his career.
Raul Gonzalez was named the best striker in the world by IFFHS in 1999, and is the only player to be named UEFA Club Forward of the Year three times, in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He was the second in the Ballon d’Or 2001 and ranked third in the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year.