Former Real Madrid player Raul to retire soon

Washington, Oct 16 (IANS) Former Real Madrid player Raul is to retire next month after finishing the current North American Soccer League season, according to New York Cosmos.

“When I signed for the New York Cosmos in December, I said I would evaluate how I felt towards the end of the year and assess whether I would continue to play,” Xinhua quoted Raul as saying.

“My decision is to retire from playing at the end of this season. I am fully focused on finishing the season strong and helping the New York Cosmos win the NASL Championship. In the coming months I will decide the next step in my career.

“Playing soccer has been part of my life for so long and the decision to retire is not an easy one but I believe it is the right time,” said Raul.

“I’m thankful to everyone who has supported me throughout my career and I look forward to playing my final games with the New York Cosmos over the coming weeks.”

Raul, 38, spent 16 years with Real Madrid, winning six La Liga titles, three Champions League titles and six Spanish Super Cups.

Then he spelled with Schalke and Al-Sadd Sports Club before joining the Cosmos of the North American Soccer League, a level below Major League Soccer, in last December. He also scored 44 goals in 102 appearances for Spain.

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