Former Real Madrid striker Raul has
joined Al Sadd of Qatar after leaving Schalke 04 at the end of
his contract with the Bundesliga club, the Asian champions said
"Al Sadd Club will held a news conference... on Sunday to
introduce Raul Gonzalez to the media after signing the player
who will join the team starting from next season 2012/13,"
said a statement on Al Sadd's website.
The club did not give any further details but Spanish media
reported that Raul, 34, had signed a one-year deal with Al Sadd,
who finished third at the World Club Cup in December.
"Raul has arrived in Doha and attended the final match of
the Emir Cup between Al Sadd and Al Gharafa at Khalifa
international stadium," the club's statement added referring to
a match Al Gharafa won in a penalty shootout on Saturday.
The former Spain striker had been at Schalke for two
seasons, scoring 28 Bundesliga goals in 66 matches.
Last month when it was announced he would leave Schalke,
Raul told reporters: "My future lies outside Europe in a league
that is not so strong in playing terms as the Bundesliga."
Raul, whose international career ended in 2006, joined
Schalke after he became surplus to requirements at Real Madrid,
the club where he had been a talismanic figure.
It was uncertain how well he would adapt to rainy,
industrial Gelsenkirchen, where Schalke have an almost cult-like
following, after the more refined surroundings of the Bernabeu.
However, he settled in well, scoring 13 goals in his first
Bundesliga season and five more in the Champions League, taking
his all-time tally in Europe's top club competition to a record
71 goals as Schalke reached the semi-finals.
Raul continued to score regularly this term with 15 more
goals in the Bundesliga, two in the Cup and four in the Europa
League. In all, he scored 40 goals for the Royal Blues.
After deciding not to extend his deal at Schalke, Raul said:
"It was not an easy decision to make. I've had two wonderful
years and will always have a place for Schalke in my heart."
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