Having announced his decision to leave Real Madrid CF on Monday, Raúl González has joined FC Schalke 04, with coach Felix Magath delighted to bring in "a truly world-class footballer".
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Two days after announcing his decision to leave Real Madrid CF, striker Raúl González has joined FC Schalke 04.
The 33-year-old former Spanish international has signed a two-year contract with the German side who return to the UEFA Champions League group stage this season after finishing second in the Bundesliga last term.
"Schalke is a new challenge," Raúl said. "The Bundesliga is one of the strongest leagues in Europe. Our aim has to be to fight for the Bundesliga title. It will be difficult in the Champions League but we want to progress from the group stage. It will be an eventful season for Schalke."
As a three-time winner of the competition with Real Madrid, Raúl brings a wealth of experience to Schalke and coach Felix Magath is delighted to have him on board. "This is fantastic news for FC Schalke 04," Magath said. "I'm delighted we've been able to bring a truly world-class footballer and goalscorer to the Bundesliga and to Schalke."
Raúl bid farewell to Madrid in an emotional news conference on Monday. In 18 years at the Santiago Bernabéu he scored 323 goals in 741 senior appearances – both club records – and helped the Merengues win the Liga six times. He was used largely as a substitute last season, however, and conceded on Monday that "the time had come" to leave.
Schalke have been busy in the transfer market this summer as they prepare for their first group stage campaign since 2007/08. Centre-back Christoph Metzelder has also arrived from Madrid, with defenders Atsuto Uchida, Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Tim Hoogland, and striker Erik Jendrišek other recruits for the new campaign.
Raúl, Spain's all-time leading marksman with 44 goals, also tops the UEFA Champions League scoring charts, striking 66 times in a record 130 games. In addition he jointly holds the record for most goals in European club competition, 68, with AC Milan's Filippo Inzaghi.