Monday, November 3, 2008

Raúl Shows Admiration For Maldini, Hierro

Los Blancos icon Raúl González Blanco spoke at length in an interview with Realmadrid TV, discussing numerous subjects including his heroes and mentors during his young playing days.

Raúl will be approaching his 14th year at the ‘White House’ in a few days’ time (29th October) and after close to a decade and a half as a professional footballer, he has revealed who some of his heroes were, despite being an icon himself nowadays.


Having spent his entire playing career with one team, the 31 year old has picked up valuable lessons from some of the club’s past greats as well as rival peers.

“Fernando Hierro was my teacher and everything I’ve learned I owe it to him. Same goes for Manolo Sanchis. I looked up to them when I made my debut at 17 because they were two people who had a lot of experience at club and international level.

“I also admire Paolo Maldini. He’s been playing for 20 years and last Sunday, he looked just as passionate as ever. It’s a pity we never got the chance to play together. He is kind and honest and the day he decides to hang up his boots will be a great loss for everyone.”


Having just returned from Turin where his side lost 2-1 to Juventus in the Champions League, Raúl continued to access the Italian game.

“I have a lot of respect for Italian football and the culture. People there have great admiration for players like Maldini, Totti, Del Piero and before them, Roberto Baggio.

“Even when they perform under par, they are always respected because of how much they have done for Italian football and their clubs.”

The Next Generation

Despite returning to his best form in years last campaign, Raúl still failed to make the cut for Spain’s Euro 08 winning squad and that was all down to the unparalleled amount of talent bursting throughout the country.

“There are some really good players moving up through the ranks and it really showed at the Eurocopa.

“They are a talented, intelligent group who knows what to do in each and every minute of a match. Xavi, Iniesta, Silva, Cazorla, Senna, Cesc… these are players who have all matured a lot.”

The Tenth

Having already picked up three Champions League winners’ medals, Raúl is desperate to land his fourth and the club’s elusive ‘Number Ten’.

“Our main goals are La Liga and the Champions League, but the real challenge is to continue winning titles.

“The Kings Cup is also something we’d like to win this year because we have not won it for so long years and it has become a thorn on the sides of so many of us in the squad.

“My personal goal is to reach Don Alfredo di Stéfano’s goal count. It helps me prepare better and to be more motivated.”