Image: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Raul Gonzalez reveals that his relationship with Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is very cordial, adding that both CR7 and Barca forward Lionel Messi are not from this planet.
The former Madrid captain Raul played alongside Ronaldo for a year before leaving Santiago Bernabeu.
In a chat with AS, the retired Spanish footballer admits the Portuguese has broken records and set more for posterity, adding that the club will surely miss Ronaldo when he retires but there’ll be life.
In his words: “What he is doing is enormous, but there is a great squad with players who can give more.
“The important thing is for everyone to work as a group.
“Cristiano has been the top scorer in seven or eight seasons. Nobody expected that, his desire to train every day and meet challenges.”
Talking about the short-lived relationship he had with Ronaldo, Raul said: “I have a good relationship with him. And the admiration is mutual. I only shared a locker room with him for a year, but it was an important year and we hit it off.
Comparing Ronaldo and Messi has been a difficult and useless thing to do. Raul adds: “What he and Messi are doing day after day has never been done by anyone else. Or by very few.
“I can’t speak of what happened before, but Cristiano and Messi are on another planet.
“Then they go to the national team and it isn’t easy, but Cristiano took a big step in winning the European Championships.”
The argument continued on CR7 being a leader on and off the pitch. Raul was also pressed for comments on Sergio Ramos’ leadership as Madrid captain, including questions about other issues at the club.
He said: “Ramos gives identity to the club, the team, his teammates. He’s been a real captain and a professional and naturally assumed that role, you could already see something special when he was young.
“When he arrived at Madrid he already had that personality, that urge to be there to support and drag others. His transition to the captaincy has been calm and natural.
“Luka Modric? He’s the difference in midfield, who makes the difference in unbalancing a complicated game. He always finds ways and paths. And he has integrated perfectly into Spanish culture, he speaks the language perfectly. Chapeau to him, because it isn’t just now but from the first moment. He carries a lot of weight in the team, he knows how to bring everything together.
“It wasn’t an easy year for James Rodriguez, but he will be very useful for the future. With his quality he will be very important for Madrid. I would like him to stay because he still has a lot to give. This has to serve as experience. You can’t live on what you did last year in Madrid. The competition doesn’t stop and you always have to be there. Football has to be important.”
The discussion continued on other players like Keylor Navas, and David De Gea who was chosen as Spain’s first choice goalkeeper at Euro 2016, replacing famous captain Iker Casillas for club and country.
“I saw Keylor recently and congratulated him, for his professionalism and how quickly he changed his mind-set. He’s shown his love for training and to play and do well and that’s what counts. Sometimes the things that make you suffer, make you better.
“We’ll never know about De Gea. It’s not that he has a great future, but rather he’s having a great present. He could have been defending the club for a long time and will do so for the national team, as Iker did.”