Florentino Perez has paid tribute to Raul Gonzalez and assured the newly-retired Real Madrid legend that the club’s doors are always open to him.
Raul spent 18 years at Los Blancos between 1992 and 2010, becoming the team’s record appearance holder and second all-time top goalscorer in the process, and the President was quick to pen a heartfelt message to his former charge following the end of his career on Sunday.
“Every Madrid supporter is aware of the true importance of his gigantic role,” he told Madrid’s official website.
“Raul is an essential figure when it comes to assessing Real Madrid's most recent history.
“Raul embodies the essential values and principles that are enshrined in the sacred code of Real Madrid.
“As the president of Real Madrid, it is a special feeling to see him conclude his playing career. This is the farewell to one of the greatest players in our legendary club history.
“I am privileged to have been able to share unforgettable experiences and titles with him such as La Novena.
“However, above all I will be left with something that unites us all in a special way. The pride of belonging to a team that is obsessed with obtaining victory.
“For every Real Madrid fan, Raul was, is, and always will be, an example of honesty, work, the ability to resist defeat and someone that is passionate about football.
“As such, throughout his 16 seasons at Real Madrid, he was able to represent the values of this institution in a way that befits the great legends of our 113-year history.
“His 16 titles won in our shirt demonstrate his greatness, his sense of loyalty and his commitment to Real Madrid.
“Young people and anyone that dreams of becoming a part of this team, will have a slightly easier path if they take a closer look at a player who has always displayed an exemplary attitude and behaviour.
“Today is a time to once again reiterate our gratitude for the 741 games where he defended the principles of Real Madrid.
“741 games during which he showed his responsibility as a great captain, as well as immense respect towards teammates, fans, rivals and former players that had led the way in the past.
“For Raul, holding the record for number of games played with Real Madrid has always been part of his duty and sense of loyalty. For Madrid supporters, it is an honour.
“Today, wherever he may be, I am sure that our beloved president of honour Alfredo Di Stefano will feel the pride that all of us who love Raul feel.
“Raul was one of Alfredo Di Stefano’s great and worthy successors.
“Thank you Raul, for having helped to make Real Madrid great with your dedication and talent.
“Thank you for having perfectly understood our sense of what it means to overcome, and our maxim of never giving in.
“Thank you for all that you have meant to football and thanks for embodying our club badge the way that you have done.
“Dear Raul, your example will be forever recognised at Real Madrid, where you know that the doors are always open to you because for years, you fuelled the legend of the Whites and because you too are a legend.”