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RAÚL GONZÁLES BLANCO

Player with number 7

One of the big stars of world soccer. His brilliancy, his surprising moves, his charcacter and his excellent quality all mix together with his sharpness in every game. The golden boy of Spanish football started out as a teenage midfield player with Club Atlético de Madrid. Yet the fact he replaced Real Madrid CF great Emilio Butragueño on his top-flight debut at the age of 17 gave a clearer indication of things to come. Raúl González is the highest scorer still active in Spain's Primera División, having finished top of the Pichichi charts in 1999 and 2001. He is certainly a big-match performer, having hit the third goal in Madrid's victory over Valencia CF in the 2000 UEFA Champions League final,another in the win against Bayer 04 Leverkusen two years later, and the clincher against CR Vasco da Gama in the 1998 European/South American Cup. Yet the halo has not always been so bright. Indeed, it slipped a little at EURO 2000™ when he missed a penalty in the last minute of the quarter-final with France and Spain went home early. Raúl's form dipped in the first half of the following season, but he rediscovered his touch to finish top scorer in the Champions League for two years running. Touted as a potential star of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, he began well enough, scoring three goals, but a groin injury ruled him out of the quarter-final with the Korean Republic which Spain lost on penalties. His contract with Madrid runs until 2005 and has a buy-out clause of 190m.

Pozrite si ïalšie obrázky z jeho úèinkovania v klube:

"We still have a long way to go, but we are in an excellent situation to win the League this year"

National team

Since making his international debut against the Czech Republic in October 1996, Raúl's performances for Spain have very much mirrored the nation's fortunes. Brilliant in qualifying tournaments, he missed a penalty in the last minute of the UEFA EURO 2000™ quarter-final with France and Spain went home early. Touted as a potential star of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, he began well enough, scoring three goals, but a groin injury ruled him out of the quarter-final with the Korean Republic which Spain lost on penalties.

Club

Born in the capital, Raúl started out with Club Atlético de Madrid. Yet the fact he replaced Real Madrid CF great Emilio Butragueno on his top-flight debut at the age of 17 gave a clearer indication of things to come. Raúl is the highest scorer still active in Spain's Primera División, having finished top of the Pichichi charts in 1999 and 2001. He is certainly a big-match performer, having hit the third goal in Madrid's victory over Valencia CF in the 2000 UEFA Champions League final, another in the win against Bayer 04 Leverkusen two years later, and the clincher against CR Vasco da Gama in the 1998 European/South American Cup. Raúl's form dipped following EURO 2000™ but he rediscovered his touch to finish top scorer in the Champions League for two years running.

"Now it is time to feel the thrill of the season", these are the words of a player used this sort of feeling. Raúl gave his view on the situation of both the team and himself. His statements convey all the necessary ease: "We must have all the options to win the title for the last eight matches of the season". He said that the team does not suffer from Raúldependence. He admits that the squad has gained "self-confidence and self-esteem" ever since the success in Japan. He does not want to hear the word "megastars". He assures Ronaldo "relieves" the team because he is "a blast". He denies that his temporary goal-scoring drought is affecting him. "Now I feel more at ease and better on a pitch", he states.