Raúl usually referred to simply as Raúl (born
June 27, 1977 in Madrid) is a Spanish football forward. He
currently plays for Real Madrid and is the all-time leading
scorer for the Spanish national team.
Since making his debut against the Czech Republic in October
1996, Raúl's performances for Spain have very much mirrored the
nation's fortunes. After Fernando Hierro retired from the
Spanish national team, Raúl became the captain for Real Madrid
and country despite quite heavy criticism because of his poor
physical condition in the last 2 years. Yet how can a man who
has lead Real Madrid & Spain to much success in all his 10 years
at the top be doubted after a year and a half of bad
performances. The problem stems from too many short term
memories amongst people, especially the media.
For his country, Raúl scored 41 goals in 83 international
matches (as of May 2005). He played in the 1998 World Cup, Euro
2000, the 2002 World Cup, and Euro 2004. He is also the leading
scorer in the UEFA Champions League , with 49 goals in 94
matches (as of November 2004). Raúl is also currently 11th
highest goalscorer in the history of Spain's top flight, with
166 goals in 353 games. All of these goals were for Real Madrid,
making Raúl the club's third highest goalscorer of all time.
This will surely improve as Raúl is still playing for the club.
Raúl possesses one of the distinctive celebrations in the modern
game, with each goal acclaimed by a kiss of his wedding ring, an
acknowledgement to his wife Mamen Sanz.
Among his nicknames are Angel de Madrid, Babystar, and Golden