‘Raul’s decision to leave correct’

Raul Gonzalez’s agent says the player’s decision to leave Real Madrid in 2010 was correct, as he also reveals interest from Manchester United at that time.

The 36-year-old Madrid legend is back in the capital this week to take part in the Trofeo Bernabeu match against his former team with current side Al-Sadd.

Raul ended 16 years with Los Blancos in 2010 when he decided to leave for Schalke and, as his representative has reflected, it is not a decision he regrets.

“The first option is to go and the second, if you are not going to leave, is to compete. He chose to compete,” began Gines Carvajal to reporters this week.

“There were some teams after him, including Manchester United. But there was one person in Felix Magath, who convinced him to go to Schalke to fight with him.

“United were serious, but there was some uncertainty about his role in the team. If he was going to go to be a back-up, he could have stayed at home for that. To go and learn English, or to stay in Madrid.

“It was Magath who came to Madrid to persuade him. That was not easy for a figure like him, who has won everything as a player and Coach.

“He came along with [Cristoph] Metzelder and together they convinced him. And both will be at the game tonight.

“Raul is exultant, he is very excited to see his teammates who he played with.

“Now it is opportunistic to say, but he was right in leaving Madrid. Raul’s decision was thought through, not a heat of the moment.

“There was no doubt from us. At Madrid they thought he would not go. But we believed it was wrong to have a player of his class not playing. The decision to leave was the right one.”

Tags Magath Manchester United Raul Schalke