You can add Raúl to the list of famous players that have played with the New York Cosmos.
Raúl signed a multi-year contract with the Cosmos to join Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer as legends to have played for the NASL side.
Raúl made his name playing for Real Madrid, scoring a club-record 323 goals across 741 all-time appearances in 16 years. In those 16 years, he led Los Blancos to six La Liga titles, four Spanish Super Cups, and three Champions League titles. His goal-haul (71) in Champions League play still stands as the most ever.
Head coach Giovanni Savarese was obviously thrilled upon the singing of Raúl. “His skill and ability is world renowned. He’s a world-class player and he adds a whole new dimension to our attack.”
He will also serve as the technical adviser to the youth academy, which opens in 2015 before overseeing the academy on a full-time basis following his retirement. As one of Real Madrid’s most famous players to come through the youth academy, Raúl will surely be a great influence on the academy.
“He brings immense passion and knowledge that he can share with our team and with the next generation of Cosmos players in our youth academy,” Savarese explained. “He’ll help set up the academy training curriculum, structure, and establish or player development pyramid.”
In addition to his exploits with Real Madrid, Raúl netted 44 goals in 102 caps for the Spanish national team, a record that was later broken by David Villa.
Since his departure from Madrid in 2010, Raúl has plied his trade in Germany with FC Shalke 04, scoring 40 goals in 98 matches across two years before playing two seasons in Qatar with Al-Saad Sports Club.
After initially retiring in March 2014, he has come stateside to enhance his reputation even further after reportedly rejecting an offer to become technical director of Real Madrid.
“Everyone throughout the soccer world knows the Cosmos name and the legacy of the players that played for this team previously,” Raúl claimed. “They helped establish soccer in America and I’m honored to follow in their footsteps. I believe in this club’s vision and I’m excited to a part of that.”
The New York Cosmos are currently in a playoff spot and are looking to defend their NASL Soccer Bowl Championship they won in 2013.