Ronaldo keen for Raul’s number

Cristiano Ronaldo is keen to take over Raul Gonzalez’s legendary

number 7 shirt at Real Madrid, sports daily Marca said today.

Ronaldo had to accept the number 9 shirt last season after his

world record transfer from Manchester United, and the club managed to sell

thousands of CR9 replica shirts.

But now, with Raul reportedly on his way to Germany’s Schalke 04,

Ronaldo wants the famed number, the same he wears for Portugal and wore at Old

Trafford for Manchester United.

Raul (33) is poised to sign a two-year contract with Schalke.

His departure, which has still not been officially announced, will

end an era at the Estadio Bernabeu. He is the top goal-scorer in the club’s

proud history, ahead of the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano, with 228 league goals

in 550 matches since his debut in 1994.

Raul Gonzalez Blanco, to give him his full name, is also the

leading Spain scorer, having put away 44 goals in 102 caps 1996-2006.

His goals helped Real win three Champions Leagues and six La Liga

titles. But Raul won nothing at all with Spain as La Roja only started to pick

up trophies after manager Luis Aragones took the controversial decision to drop

Raul in 2006.

According to AS on Friday, Real are planning a “farewell and

homage” to Raul on August 24, the date scheduled for their annual pre-season

Trofeo Santiago Bernabeu friendly match.

AS said that Real’s opponents will be either Schalke – with Raul

playing half of the match for each side – or a world XI.

The paper said that the top players of Planet Football – Lionel

Messi, Diego Forln, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Xavi,

Carles Puyol and Andres Iniesta – will be invited.

The August 24 match will probably also be the chance for the

“Madridista” faithful to say goodbye to another long-serving veteran: playmaker

Guti.

Jose Maria Gutierrez Hernandez, also aged 33, is about to sign for

Turkish giants Besiktas, after 14 years of midfield majesty but also of

infuriating inconsistency and annoying attitudes.

Marca said on Friday that Xabi Alonso is keen to inherit Guti’s

number 14 shirt.

New Real coach Jose Mourinho is determined to build a new young

team without Guti and Raul.

Real’s summer signings so far have not been

expensive “galacticos” but youngsters Angel Di Maria, Pedro Leon and Sergio

Canales.




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