Spanish legend Raul bows out of soccer
Updated: 2015-11-17 09:58
New York Cosmos player Raul Gonzalez reacts after a foul during their game against Fort Lauderdale Strikers in NASL Championship Semifinals in Brooklyn, New York, November 7, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
WASHINGTON - Spanish legend Raul Gonzalez bowed out of football in style on Sunday with a trophy as his New York Cosmos beat the Ottawa Fury to win the North American Soccer League (NASL) Championship in his final match.
The 38-year-old played the full game; he did not score in the 3-2 victory in the second-tier league but provided the pass for the last goal by hat-trick hero Gaston Cellerino.
"I'm very happy, but I'm also very sad," said Raul, adding that a new path began.
Raul is not only one of the most important players in the history of Real Madrid, but also one of the greatest Spanish players of all time.
Raul began his pro career at Real Madrid in 1994 when he was 17, and spent 16 years with the Spanish giants.
Being the club's second all-time top goal scorer with 323 goals in 741 appearances, Raul sparked the club to six La Liga crowns, four Spanish Super Cups and three UEFA Champions League titles.
Departed in 2010, Raul signed for German powerhouse Schalke 04.
After netting 40 goals in 98 matches for Schalke 04 and helping the Bundesliga side to the 2011 Champions League semifinals, Raul departed in 2012 for Qatar's Al-Sadd and joined the Cosmos in December 2014.
After "an incredible year here with my teammates at Cosmos," Raul said he would like to stay with his family in New York.