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Raúl (footballer)

Raúl González Blanco (born 27 June 1977), known as Raúl, is a retired Spanish footballer who played as a striker. Raúl was born in the San Cristóbal de los Ángeles neighborhood of Madrid where he played for the local youth team before moving to the Atlético Madrid youth team. He later moved to Real Madrid's youth academy and played at its various levels. In 1994, he signed his first professional contract with the fourth division team Real Madrid C and then was swiftly promoted to the first division team.

Considered one of the most important players in the history of Real Madrid, Raúl is regarded to be one of the greatest Spanish players of all time. He spent 16 years of his career playing for Real Madrid and is the club's second all-time top goalscorer with 323 goals. Raúl is also the most capped player in the history of the club with 741 appearances, ahead of Sanchís. With los Blancos, he won six La Liga titles, three UEFA Champions League titles, scoring in two finals, four Supercopa de España titles, one UEFA Super Cup and two Intercontinental Cup. He is the third highest goalscorer in Champions League history, behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and the fifth most capped player. In 2003, he was appointed captain of the team and retained that position until his departure from the club in 2010.

In La Liga competitions, Raúl is the fifth highest goal scorer in the history of the tournament with 228 goals, behind Lionel Messi, Telmo Zarra and fellow Real Madrid legend Hugo Sánchez and Cristiano Ronaldo. He is also the highest Spanish scorer in European leagues, with 256 goals, scoring 228 goals in La Liga and 28 goals in the Bundesliga. Moreover, he is the second most capped player in the history of the Spanish competition, with 550 games played, just behind Andoni Zubizarreta (622 games). Leaving Real Madrid in 2010 and signing for Schalke 04, he scored the 400th goal of his career in February 2012. He signed with the Qatari team Al Sadd in 2012. He won the Qatar Stars League in his first season and he reached 1,000 games played in his career.

Though he did not win any major competitions while playing for the Spanish national football team, he scored a then-record 44 goals in 102 appearances for la Roja, appearing in three FIFA World Cups and two European championships. Raúl took over the captaincy of the side in 2002 and held it until 2006, the year in which he played his last international match for Spain.

Raúl was named the best striker in the world by IFFHS in 1999, and is the only player to be named UEFA Club Forward of the Year three times, in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He was the second in the Ballon d'Or 2001 and ranked third in the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year. In 2004, he was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players, and was included in the UEFA list of the fifty best European players of the 1954–2004 period. He was part of the European Team Of The Year of European Sports Media in 1997, 1999 and 2000. Raúl won two Pichichi trophies (1999 and 2001), the top goalscorer award of the UEFA Champions League (2000 and 2001), five Don Balón Awards (1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002) and one Best Player Award at the Intercontinental Cup in 1998.


Raul, Raúl and Raül are the Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish and Catalan forms of the Anglo-Germanic given name Ralph. They are cognates of the French Raoul.

Raul, Raúl or Raül may refer to:

  • Raoul (founder of Vaucelles Abbey) (d. 1152), also known as Saint Raul
  • Raúl Acosta (born 1962), Colombian road cyclist
  • Raúl Alfonsín (1927–2009), former President of Argentina (1983–89)
  • Raúl Albiol (born 1985), Spanish footballer
  • Raul Amaya (born 1986), American mixed martial artist
  • Raul Boesel (born 1957), Brazilian race car driver
  • Raúl Castañeda (born 1982), Mexican boxer
  • Raúl Castro (born 1931), President of Cuba and brother of Fidel Castro
  • Raúl Diago (born 1965), Cuban volleyball player
  • Raúl de Tomás (born 1994), Spanish football player
  • Raul Di Blasio (born 1949), Argentinian pianist
  • Raúl Esparza (born 1970), Actor and singer
  • Raúl Fuentes Cuenca (born 1975), Spanish pop singer, known as 'Raúl'
  • Raúl (footballer) (born 1977), Spanish footballer Raúl González
  • Raúl Ibañez (born 1972), a Cuban American baseball player
  • Raúl Juliá (1940–1994), Puerto Rican actor
  • Raúl Mesa (born 1982), Spanish beach volleyball player
  • Raúl Montaña (born 1971), Colombian road cyclist
  • Raul Plassman (born 1944), Brazilian football goalkeeper and TV commentator
  • Raúl Prebisch (1901–1986), Argentinian economist
  • Raul Rebane (born 1953), Estonian journalist and communication consultant
  • Raul Renter (1920–1992), Estonian economist and chess player
  • Raul Roco (1941–2005), Philippine politician
  • Raúl Ruidíaz (born 1990), Peruvian footballer
  • Raúl Ruiz (director) (1941–2011), Chilean director and filmmaker
  • Raul Rusescu (born 1988), Romanian footballer
  • Raül Romeva (born 1971), Spanish economist and politician
  • Raul Seixas (1945–1989), Brazilian singer–songwriter