Thursday, June 27, 2013

27 June 1977 - The Rise Of Raúl

On 27 June 1977, Raúl González was born in Madrid. He went on to become Real Madrid's all-time leader in goals and appearances.

The striker joined the club's youth squad in 1992 after spells at San Cristobal (1987-90) and Atlético Madrid (1990-92) and made his professional debut with the first team on 29 October 1994. Only 17 years and 124 days old at the time, he set his first club record as the youngest player to appear for the club (though it was broken later that season). He made a total of 30 appearances that season, scoring 10 goals.

It was a sign of things to come; over the next fifteen seasons, Raúl made a total of 741 appearances and scored 323 goals, both club records. Along the way, he won six league titles, three Champions League trophies, and two Intercontinental Cups. He also twice won the Pichichi as La Liga's top scorer.

(He was also once Spain's top scorer, with 44 goals in 106 caps between 1996 and 2006, but David Villa has since overtaken him.)

In 2010, with age and injury combining to diminish his role in Madrid, Raúl left for Schalke, where he spent two successful seasons, including winning the German Cup in 2011. He currently plays for Qatari club Al Sadd.

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