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REAL MADRID

Raúl elects New York Cosmos to begin US adventure

The striker’s contract with Al-Sadd expires in the summer and he hopes to follow in the footsteps of Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer.

Tomás Roncero

Raúl isn’t contemplating hanging up his boots just yet. The 36-year-old – Real Madrid’s eternal captain, has decided to end his playing days in the United States and has elected the legendary New York Cosmos as his next and possibly final destination. Raúl has spent the past two seasons with Qatar-based outfit, Al S-Sadd but his contract will expire in June. He plans to go into coaching once his playing days are over but for the moment, his plan to commence a brand new adventure and add to his vast experience by gaining knowledge of the American game.

The United States has always interested Raúl and he sees a move stateside as an opportunity for his family (his wife Mamen is expecting their sixth child). Cosmos signed some of the biggest names in football in their 1970s heyday with Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia amongst their top stars.

Cosmos disappeared after the demise of the NASL in 1985. It was Pelé who announced the club’s return in August 2010 and in 2013, they joined the new North American Soccer League. Amongst their current crop of players is ex-Villarreal and Spain midfielder, Marcos Senna, who knows Raúl well.

Raúl has received numerous offers to quit playing, including sporting director roles but he feels he still has a couple of years of activity left and is keen to follow the paths of Thierry Henry, David Beckham and Kaká.

Estadísticas AS.com