Real Madrid icon Raul announces retirement from football

Spain and Real Madrid great Raul will retire from football after completing his current season with New York Cosmos in November, the club have confirmed.

Raul made his debut for Real Madrid in 1994, embarking on a trophy laden 16-year spell with the club that included six La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns.

He became the club’s all-time record goalscorer with 323 during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu – a mark that Cristiano Ronaldo drew level with when he netted a double in September’s Champions League game against Malmo.

The 38-year-old’s 44 goals in 102 appearances for the Spanish national team was also a record until it was surpassed by David Villa in 2011.

After leaving Madrid, Raul spent two years each with Bundesliga team Schalke and Qatari side Al Sadd before signing for New York Cosmos at the end of 2014.

“My decision is to retire from playing at the end of this season. I am fully focused on finishing the season strong and helping the New York Cosmos win the NASL Championship. In the coming months I will decide the next step in my career.

“Playing soccer has been part of my life for so long and the decision to retire is not an easy one but I believe it is the right time.

“I’m thankful to everyone who has supported me throughout my career and I look forward to playing my final games with the New York Cosmos over the coming weeks.”