Real Madrid legend Raul Gonzalez has announced that he will hang up his boots at the end of the current North American Soccer League season in November.
The New York Cosmos striker helped his side to the Spring championship in June and is now focused on seeing out the 2015 campaign with the Soccer Bowl trophy before his retirement takes effect.
“It’s not an easy time for me, but I think it’s the right time to say goodbye. It was a very difficult decision to make,” Raul told One World Sports.
“When I signed for the Cosmos last December, I said I’d base my continuity on how I was feeling.
“For now, my focus is on helping the Cosmos win the Championship Soccer Bowl.
“I want to thank everyone who has helped me in my career, especially the fans of the Cosmos, who have received and supported me with love and affection from the first moment I arrived in New York.”
Raul, despite his legendary status at the Santiago Bernabeu, was poached by Madrid from arch-rivals Atletico in 1992 and went on to temporarily become Los Blancos’ youngest senior debutant two years later.
He subsequently scored 323 goals in 741 official matches for Madrid – a record recently broken by Cristiano Ronaldo – and lifted six La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues among other silverware.
However, he left for Schalke in 2010, spending two seasons in Gelsenkirchen, before moving on again to Al Sadd in 2012 and Cosmos last year.
Although his international career resulted in no trophies, Raul still netted 44 times in 102 caps for Spain between 1996 and 2006.