Former Real Madrid and Spain legend Raul has agreed to sign a contract with North American Soccer League side New York Cosmos.
Raul last played competitive football back in March for Qatar based club Al-Saad and is believed to have turned down Real Madrid’s offer to become their technical director and is expected to join N.Y. Cosmos in time for the 2015 spring season besides heading the club’s youth academy which will be launching next year.
Cosmos are New York’s third football franchise following in the footsteps of the New York Red Bulls and New York City F.C.
The 37-year-old was capped 102 times for Spain scoring 44 goals in the process which is the second best in Spain’s history behind David Villa and appeared in 3 World Cups and 2 European Championships whilst also being captain from 2002 to 2006. He also holds the record for being Real Madrid’s all time leading scoring with 323 goals in a record 741 appearances in all competitions.
He also holds the record for most Champions League goals with 71 but the two superstars of the present generation, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are level on 69 goals, just two behind the Spain legend.
He joined Real’s youth academy having moved from Atletico Madrid‘s youth academy before leaving Madrid in 2010 after 16 successful seasons in which they won 6 La Liga‘s and 3 Champions League trophies before moving to Schalke for a couple of years where he scored 28 times in 66 appearances. He then moved to Qatar based Al-Saad where he spent a further two seasons where he bagged 11 goals in 39 matches.