Raul press conference
Visibly shaken up and sad to leave behind the more than 15 years that he gave his all for Real Madrid, Raul Gonzalez held his final press shortly after his farewell event at Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Leaving Real Madrid:
The time has come to make a decision. I have worn the shirt of the best team in the world for 15 years. I am now 33-years old and it was my last chance to experience playing football outside of Spain. It was a long, hard decision, but this isn’t a goodbye, but rather a see you later. I will always support Real Madrid wherever I go.
I want to thank Real Madrid for their patience in allowing me to make this decision without haste. I have thought about with my family and the club in a calm manner. It was difficult because there was a new coach who counted on my services. I had to look at the situation from a certain perspective. I made a decision and it is a painful one, but I think it is also the correct one.
I have many fond memories and to think of just one is impossible. I think the greatest moment for me was when I got home on Friday 28 October and told my mom that I was traveling to Zaragoza with the first team and that I was going to play. My mom could not hold back her happiness, which was the greatest thing I have ever seen. I will stick with this memory because it was the first, but there have been thousands.
Number ‘7’ is very symbolic for Real Madrid. I am sure that the players who wear it will do so as they should. You must enjoy the moment and not live in the past. What is important is not the number, but rather the crest. That is what I consider most important. The number is important because of its tradition. I am sure that whoever wears the number ‘7’ will do it well.
Jose Mourinho made me think long and hard about my decision. He is a great coach and I have always admired his work. We spoke and he told me that he counted on me and was looking forward to training me. But I decided to make my decision from a different perspective.