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Raúl: Real Madrid is still in my heart

February 3, 2011
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Raúl recently spoke to the official magazine of the Bundesliga about his first six months at Schalke.  It was an interesting enough interview that I translated some parts, as you can see below.  The takeaway:  Raúl still follows his Madrid, and he’s a super dad.

Q:  Raúl, last summer you received a wonderful welcome here in Schalke.  What do you remember from that day?

A:  I’ve experienced many things in football, but when I stepped onto the field of Veltins Arena, it was something very special.  The miners invited by Schalke welcomed me very warmly, as did the club.  I immediately noticed the affection the fans have towards their team and their players here in Gelsenkirchen.  I feel this affection personally after each training session and game, when people come up to me and ask for autographs.

Q:  After so many years of success at home in Madrid, were you worried about what going to a new country would be like?

A:  On the personal level, I didn’t have any worries.  I was sure that I could compete in the Bundesliga, regardless of my age.  But I have to confess that when I put on the shirt of Schalke for the first time before my first game in the Bundesliga, I felt a strange sensation, since I had worn the shirt of Madrid for 16 years.

Q:  You really had no personal worries?

A:  If I had any, it was for my family.  How would my children adapt to a new country?  Would they make friends quickly?  Would they like Germany?  Those were the things that I had in my head.  But now that some time has passed, I can say that we love living in Germany.

Q:  Not much is know about Raúl the person.  You prefer to separate your professional and personal lives.

A:  Yes.  I want my kids to grow up normally and not be exposed to the media attention that I receive.  They go to an international school in Düsseldorf, and not many of their classmates know that their father is a famous footballer.  I prefer for it to be like that.  I want a normal life for my children.

Q:  Have you had any opportunities to visit any sites in Germany?

A:  Very few, since the calendar is packed.  I spent most of my free time with my children.  In that sense, Düsseldorf has a lot to offer.  For example, we went to see an ice hockey game.  The kids really liked it a lot.

Q:  The presence of Metzelder at Schalke was a happy coincidence for you, especially in the beginning.

A:  It’s true.  Christoph spoke to me a lot about Germany and how the Bundesliga clubs work.  So I was prepared when I arrived at Schalke.  But the determining factor was the personality of Felix Magath.  It was he who opened my heart to Schalke and convinced me to play here.  I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him.

Q:  What is your relationship now with Real Madrid?

A:  Someone who’s spent 16 years at a club doesn’t leave and forget about it.  I still follow Madrid, and Real Madrid is still in my heart.  But I’m all about Schalke now, my head is here and I’ll give everything for this club.

Q:  Do you believe Madrid can win the Liga?

A:  Of course, I have my fingers crossed that Madrid will win, but if Barcelona continues like that, it’ll be difficult for the title to escape them.

Q:  What are your thoughts on the evolution of Khedira and Özil in Madrid?

A:  They almost always play and they enrich Madrid.  Both are great players who will continuing progressing.

Q:  You’ll soon face Valencia in the Champions League.  That should be something special for you, no?

A:  Yes, it is.  I’m excited to go back to my country.

Q:  In addition, you have good memories from your past games against Valencia.

A:  Yes.  With Real Madrid, we played a Champions League final against Valencia.  It was in the year 2000 and we won 3-0.  I had the luck of scoring a goal.  These are things that I remember with a lot of pleasure.

Q:  Communication is important in football.  How is your German?

A:  It’s a difficult language to learn, but I understand more each day.

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2011 11:23

    He will always be our captain for me. I’m sure most Madridistas feel the same way. The best part is that I only started following RM just before he left. But going back and watching all the old matches, one can’t help but notice what an amazing leader and person he is.

  2. Ariadni permalink
    February 3, 2011 11:44

    only love and respect for you, senor gonzalez..
    i can’t wait for the day that we’ll welcome him back to the club… 🙂

  3. February 3, 2011 12:54

    RAUL, LOVE OF MY LIFE!

  4. Whiskey permalink
    February 3, 2011 14:02

    What a pleasant surprise to wake up to this! Thanks Una for translating – love the picture as well – very iconic Raul. I am very happy to hear he is enjoying life in the Bundesliga but i dont think i will ever adjust to him wearing another shirt. And if he hasn’t lost hope for La Liga [yeah i know what else could he say :)] then neither have I!

  5. realmadrid23 permalink
    February 3, 2011 16:55

    SIEMPRE RAUL!!!

  6. Laura permalink
    February 3, 2011 17:47

    Thank you so much for translating!! I’ve been following Schalke and seen one or two statements he’d given to their website, but I’ve been hoping for a more substantial interview about how his time in Germany is progressing (and his language skills). Thank you thank you thank you!!

  7. February 3, 2011 17:50

    like for real i cried a river. i miss him so much

  8. Lily permalink
    February 3, 2011 18:17

    Raul is the best! So glad you posted this totally made my morning!

    He’s always going to be the legend of Real Madrid for me, it was during that time when it was him Zidane Beckham ronaldo9 roberto carlos were all on the team and I started my passion for this team!

    Hala Madrid!

  9. La Pirata permalink
    February 3, 2011 19:00

    Thank you for sharing this article. I pretty much never tire of hearing about Raúl in general and am so happy to hear he is enjoying playing in Germany and his family is happy there. He thinks of his family so much and I’m sure his children will one day appreciate the normal life he’s creating for them. What an amazing family.

  10. Ros permalink
    February 4, 2011 03:01

    Thank you for the translation. Raul was one of the reasons I started following Real Madrid.

  11. Maddi permalink
    February 4, 2011 04:25

    RAUL!!!! <333 He is doing so well for Schalke!! (Their top scorer and all)
    He is so humble and down-to-earth. Such a classy guy. Maybe he'll coach the team some day.

  12. EM. permalink
    February 4, 2011 06:26

    He is the reason I got into club football so it hurt real bad when he left but I know when the time comes, he’ll retire at RM. I loved the interview especially the part where he said it was awkward sensation putting on Schalke’s shirt. So loyal. His brand of players are a dying (well technically, retiring) breed.

    Thanks for taking the time to translate it 😀

  13. Lauren permalink
    February 4, 2011 14:51

    It’s great to hear that he’s happy at Schalke and of course that he still loves Real Madrid. But learning German won’t be simple. It’s not an easy language – and this comes from a native German speaker ;D

  14. Mani Thangadurai permalink
    February 4, 2011 22:13

    His willingness to move all the way out of his comfort zone to a new atmosphere just so that he could continue to play and excel is what makes him a REAL professional and a great sportsman in my book…when you have a desire to play and aren’t satisfied with being second fiddle, you will train smarter and display a greater passion and love for the game. I have always regarded Raul as a fantastic striker, but he has gone up even further in my eyes in the light of his success at Schalke, he is a perfect example for young professionals to copy – ALWAYS aim to play more, display a greater hunger and desire and NEVER be satisfied with merely being ‘part of the furniture’!!

    I hope he can win some silverware in Germany…maybe the German Cup…a GREAT way to stick two fingers up at his critics!!

    • Mani Thangadurai permalink
      March 3, 2011 15:55

      …and he’s scored the winner in the semi-final against Bayern Munich yesterday…meaning that he’s one game away from realising that dream!

      I do hope that Real’s fans will offer support to him in that match to that he’ll have greater motivation to win…he’s proved beyond any doubt how intelligent and correct he was to move away from Madrid. He is without any doubt the GREATEST striker in the history of European Club Football!!

  15. Ariadni permalink
    February 5, 2011 14:10

    Hm.. It’s me again!
    Just because we all got a bit nostalgic after reading this, I’d like to share with you that really nice article (just ignore the sarcastic comments of the journalist!!)

    http://www.whoateallthepies.tv/kits/42148/my-favourite-kit-real-madrid-2002-centenary-kit.html

  16. bob permalink
    March 12, 2011 14:19

    It’s very rare to see a genuine, humble guy in football, there aren’t many of them around.
    I saw his workload against Valencia, he gives 110% the same as Real Madrid & when he was inteviewed he wasn’t the typical boring, spoilt footballer like Rooney (& I’m from Manchester).
    This guy’s a role model!

  17. aris permalink
    April 11, 2011 15:29

    i love you more and more each day raul..
    real madrid is never the same without you

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