x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Record-breaking Raul swaps Real Madrid for Schalke

Real Madrid's talismanic striker, who left the Bernabeu after 16 record-breaking seasons, has signed for Schalke at the age of 33.

Raul, right, stands beside new teammate Christoph Metzelder at his first training session in Gelsenkirchen yesterday.
Raul, right, stands beside new teammate Christoph Metzelder at his first training session in Gelsenkirchen yesterday.

Raul, Real Madrid's talismanic striker who left the Bernabeu after 16 record-breaking seasons, has signed for Schalke at the age of 33. Raul, who scored 323 times in 741 games for Real, notched 66 Champions League goals and is Spain's all-time leading scorer with 44 goals, will try to revive his career in the Bundesliga in the industrial city of Gelsenkirchen after falling out of favour at the club where he made his name.

"I'm looking forward to starting on a new challenge," said Raul, who will wear the No 7 shirt at Schalke. "It's an important challenge for me." "I'm glad that we succeeded in enthusing such an exceptional footballer and world-class goalscorer about a move to the Bundesliga and to Schalke," Felix Magath, the Schalke coach,said. "His signing is a decisive step in our efforts to strengthen and restructure the squad."

Schalke had a gap to fill in their attack after Kevin Kuranyi left for Dynamo Moscow at the end of last season. Kuranyi's 18 goals helped the club to a second-place finish in the Bundesliga behind Bayern Munich, qualifying it for Champions League play. Raul is Schalke's second signing from Real Madrid in the offseason, joining Christoph Metzelder, the former Germany defender, who spent three injury-plagued seasons at Madrid and saw little playing time.

* AP