Thursday, April 14, 2011

Raul -- Class Wherever He Plays

At the start of the season, it was with mixed emotions that Real Madrid fans let go of Raul. He was not being utilized as much the previous season, and Raul felt he had still some football left in his tank.

Madrid fans were all wondering if that was still true, or was Raul just being proud to admit that his aging legs were not the same as before.Well, wonder no more. Raul has scored  times this season for German Bundesliga side Schalke 04, and his goals in the Champions League has guided S04 to the semi-finals against Manchester United.

Drifting from the left, he latched on to a pass from Jurado (?) and as typical Raul, dummied the goalkeeper before burying it in with his right foot.What is it with Raul and the Champions League? He has scored time and time again for Real and now Schalke.

It would be an interesting return to Old Trafford for the Spanish legend. Sir Alex Ferguson once famously said that Raul was the main threat amidst the galacticos of Real Madrid.

What is unmistakable though, is the class of Raul, on and off the pitch. He celebrated with the fans after the final whistle, up in the stands. Now, how many players do that?

Still going strong: Raul joined the Schalke fans to celebrate his goal against Inter
I wonder how his German speaking skills are now, but heck, scoring goals for your club is one hell of a universal language buster. Here is the video :

The rest of the team stayed on the center of the pitch, while Raul led the cheers from the stands. Wonder how many English Premier League teams or La Liga teams do that. That is what I noticed about the Bundesliga : the team almost always celebrate and acknowledge the fans after each game, be it a league game or an important Champions League game.

They often do it in Germany, quite possibly the best domestic league in the world. It is called the Humba. Uli Hesse has written an excellent piece on what the Humba is. Below is a video of Raul leading the cheers, in German!

I will have to put aside my loyalties for Borussia Dortmund for the meantime. Raul, go on to the Final!

*Photo Credit : Associated Press.(Lifted from The Daily Mail Online.)

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