How good was Raul?

harms

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Good Thread.
With all that free time right now i was watching some old classic matches of that Galactico Team and was asking myself the same question about how good Raul really was but also how about Figo?
Was Figo considered absolute World Class back in the day? Maybe he was at Barca but he never really stood out at Real imo
Yes, Figo was considered world-class by virtually everyone during his peak.
 

Gio

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Didn't he play more as forward at Barca ?
More as an out-and-out winger in a front three yes, mostly off the right, but sometimes from the left. At Real he played centrally in his first season as a 10 and then was pushed to an inside-right role when Zidane joined.
 

André Dominguez

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Can't find the stats, but I remember that Raúl successful dribbles per game was impressive. It was his strongest asset. Having a player that successfully dribbles so well it will cause the opposition to completely loose defensive organization and becoming outnumbered.
 

carvajal

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Raúl's career has several phases, to start with I would say he appeared as an icon. At the right time, Madrid were on decline, had lost two consecutive leagues in Tenerife and what was left of the " fifth of the vulture" was on a significant decline.
That season was a kind of revolution. Valdano, who was super popular, the representative of the beautiful game, who came with Redondo, as well as Quique Sánchez Flores and Laudrup, so making a prodigy debut at 17 when nobody expected it was a great culmination.
It could be seen that he fit the idea of a Spanish captain, with character,power and that would be many years at the club,as Camacho and Hierro.

He accumulated a lot of power, surely more than Ramos currently, even in the Spanish team.
In the Spanish team, where he had become the "7 of Spain", became his decline. That penalty failed against France in the Euro 2000 when Mendieta had to shoot ... and his confrontation with Aragonés first and the subsequent success, which greatly diminished his figure.
Well, sorry for the novel, but so boring at home this thread was perfect to expand on.
Speaking of level, I think Del Piero had more technique, I can't imagine Raúl scoring Rooney's scissor goal (against City). They seem to be very different players, although they coincide in the fact of starting early and being burned with 28/29.
He was a very smart striker, mobile and always looking to lose the mark.
I think the first goal in the ninth, taking advantage of the throw-in, could be an example of what he was.
My favorite goals, the day he celebrated at the Camp Nou, the goal against Valencia on the 8th and in the Intercontinental, a goal named "aguanís"
 

Falcow

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Yeah, you don't know what you are talking about
Exactly what I was thinking.

Raul was world class, make no mistake. Faded quickly for whatever reason but most definitely world class during his peak.
 

Inter Yer Nan

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Exactly what I was thinking.

Raul was world class, make no mistake. Faded quickly for whatever reason but most definitely world class during his peak.
He was a starting player for Real Madrid at the age of 17 and had close to 600 games under his belt by the time he was 27/28. He was still pretty damn good when they won back-to-back leagues in the late 2000's.
 

Inter Yer Nan

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Definitely a great player. He always felt like Madrid's star player until they went Galatico shopping starting with Figo. It's easy to forget how good he was so young. He was a great finisher and a very intelligent player but he also had quality on the ball and movement off the ball. A great team player which you may not suspect looking at his goal record. I would say, surely he's one of the top five Spaniards of all-time? Maybe top three? Among the greatest overall players in Real Madrid history. Definitely top 10 arguably top 5. There's been better players to have wore Real's colors (Laudrup, Fat Ronaldo, Figo come to mind) that weren't as great overall in Real Madrid history. He's high up on every list; Spain appearances and goals, same for Real Madrid, La Liga goals, Champions League goals etc;
 

Falcow

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He was a starting player for Real Madrid at the age of 17 and had close to 600 games under his belt by the time he was 27/28. He was still pretty damn good when they won back-to-back leagues in the late 2000's.
Fair enough, I feel faded even just thinking about 600 games.
 

Inter Yer Nan

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Fair enough, I feel faded even just thinking about 600 games.
Yeah, I think because Ronaldo, Messi, Ibra have been good for so long even approaching their mid 30's (in Messi's case approaching and in Zlatan's passing) it's easy to take for granted that players in the past used to peak sooner. Rooney, by the older standards went off the boil around the right age considering he was generally a star man playing every game since he was around 17.
 

FootballHQ

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Easily one of the best strikers in last 20 years.

Look at his numbers for Real Madrid. He was their version of Giggs playing upfront (or more as second striker when he played with Morientes and then Ronaldo).

Broke through at 17 and great numbers for many many years. Scored many times in CL before Messi and Ronaldo were doing it for fun.

Actually think the first leg v Man. United was him at his total peak. IIRC he had an issue after that game, had an operation, missed second leg and in following seasons his numbers were still good but lost perhaps 5%. As said did well in Bundesliga after leaving Real Madrid.

Now the problem....Spain. Not selected for euro 1996, went down in first round in world cup 98 (scored a brilliant volley v Nigeria). Missed that late penalty v France in 2000, euro 2004 went out in first round and last 16 exit in 2006.

After that his international career was over so missed out on their success. He was still only 33 when they won 2010 world cup for example. He has same issues as many England players over last decade or longer, lack of real international success hurts things.

If I was to compare him to English player who's been forgotten a bit I'd say Robbie Fowler. Broke through at same points, ridiculous scoring runs for many years before losing a step when they hit 27/28 although Fowler had much worse decline. He could never get a run for England either.
 

FootballHQ

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He was nowhere near as good as rooney
He certainly was and much more longevity, still playing at excellent level in Bundesliga at 33/34.

I'd actually like to know more about his Spain career being culled. What was the reaction to that in Spain at the time? (given they hadn't won anything at that point) and he was still good enough to be selected. He wasn't even 30 at that point.

A very brave decision by Aragones which ultimately paid off with what Spain won although it wasn't Raul's fault they underachieved. Would be similar to stopping calling up Gerrard and Lampard before they hit 30.
 

FootballHQ

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Tremendously misunderstood player in modern parlance. Was also a nomad of his own era beings as his role of withdrawn forward didn't exist then as definable role - in his own era, you were either a lead the line #9 or creative #10 who could score too. Raul would therefore be compared directly to out and out #9's or ridiculously skillful #10's, and invariably come up short as his only comparable metric then was goals.

He scored loads of them, of course, but merit was taken from him somewhat because it was seen as a given seeing as he broke through so young and was the undroppable golden boy at Madrid where others might've been more talented and 'rightfully' denied their shot as Raul supposedly ruled behind the scenes there.

His international record and career as a whole was also held against him as both the proper #10's and #9's if the era were mostly magnificent for their countries, too.

Raul is essentially an enigma, but categorized amongst his kin folk of withdrawn forwards, easily one of the best to play the game. Put him in generic #9 or #10 lists and he's nowhere to be seen in the grand scheme of things.
Yeah in those times major Spainish clubs all played 4-2-3-1 was their default setting whereas it was very alien to any premier league club for another 4-5 years.

It was always Morientes upfront and Raul just behind although of course Raul would be pushed up into number 9 role when Morientes or the other Madrid forwards weren't around. Then same when Ronaldo came in 2002.

I'm pretty sure he could've adapted no problem to the general 4-4-2s if he'd come to the premier leauge around that point but a different set up. In a way not that different to Rooney's shifting between number 9 and 10 throughout his career if we are doing that comparison.
 

FootballHQ

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Hit his best when Madrid beat us 3-1 at their home during the 02-03 CL season. Before the 2nd leg at OT (Ronaldo hat trick) his appendix went kaput. Never was the same.
Ah that's the one Appendix. Yeah he came back and still had good scoring seasons (although sure one year he only scored 6 or 7 goals) but lost a bit of edge.

Anyway in the spirit of current climate....this is my favourite Raul goal and it's of course one of his most iconic. Chipping ball over Ruud Hesp into net in 90th minute and then shushing the Camp Nou.

Full game is here:

 

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He was a top striker during his late teens up until mid-twenties then during his later years he became less prolific and played more as a second striker because he was so technically gifted, he was capable of creating chances. He was world class in his early twenties in my opinion and would never forget when he scored a brace against us at the Bernabeu in the CL , he was good that night.
 

DVG7

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The way I look at Raul is that he should have gone on to be one half of the greatest strikeforce in the history of the game, alongside Ronaldo.

That duo had absolutely everything between them, and although Madrid got a somewhat diminished version of R9, he was still one of the best players in the world and at times, they did compliment each other well. But you essentially had a left footed Del Piero + Fenomeno and yeah, If they had both hit peak form at the same time then I don't even know if there would be a debate as to the best front 2 ever.

Raul was also ahead of his time in terms of looking after himself, and to my knowledge was the first footballer to start regularly doing yoga.
 

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Yeah in those times major Spainish clubs all played 4-2-3-1 was their default setting whereas it was very alien to any premier league club for another 4-5 years.

It was always Morientes upfront and Raul just behind although of course Raul would be pushed up into number 9 role when Morientes or the other Madrid forwards weren't around. Then same when Ronaldo came in 2002.

I'm pretty sure he could've adapted no problem to the general 4-4-2s if he'd come to the premier leauge around that point but a different set up. In a way not that different to Rooney's shifting between number 9 and 10 throughout his career if we are doing that comparison.
Raul was always twinned with Del Piero during his prime years, I guess because they both burst onto the scene young, were magnificent for a period before tapering somewhat (for differing reasons, of course, for Del Piero, his knee injury ruined the trajectory he was on) and sort of falling in line as very good, but not the greatest, players... kind of living on former glory (due to the great heights they reached) whilst no longer being what they were.

Raul was still productive, of course, but he was lightning sharp in mind, movement and finishing when he first made a name for himself and that was not the case after a while. I personally think the national team burden and constant failure at majors took something from him - his confidence was one of his greatest assets as an up-and-coming star.

Anyway, yeah, Raul and Morientes were a flawless pairing for a period with Raul getting to use his mind and speed of thought and execution at optimal levels when Morientes was at his battering ram, peak. Raul's movement was as cunning and shrewd as Cavani's, or at least, you could put him in that bracket - the guy was sharp as a tack and absolutely ruthless when chances emerged. I think the Fowler comparisons in terms of finishing are apt. Everything was deft, deliberate and assured when he was at his best.

If you put Raul in the right team, he would've absolutely shredded an unprepared PL of that time as that kind of player who operated so adroitly between the lines and off the back of any opening or tactical lapse, was not what we were used to in England - even #10's had an honesty to their skill and relied more on that then outright guile, which was Raul's forte.

It's hard to compare Rooney to Raul, for me because Rooney was a force of nature for a long while and didn't think much, but simply did, on instinct, as opposed to Raul, who was constantly assimilating the play and his opponents and crunching the data before exploiting it. Considering this, what he transformed himself into at Shalke really was a testament to his intelligence and chameleon-like qualities.
 

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He was not a talented as his contemporaries if you compare him to someone like Recoba, but he definitely had the strongest mentality. Sort of like Frank Lampard in that sense. He had that silent and steely determination in his game.


The typical Raul goal. Big match, goal out of nowhere. Great finish too. Trademark goal celebration.
Awesome at his best, a big match player, and destroyed us in Bernabeu.

I always thought that Real were wrong for signing Ronaldo, considering the partnership Raul had with Morientes.
 

spaceboyRSA

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I think it was Mourinho who described him best. 7 out of 10 at everything and always gave a high level. Fantastic player.
 

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What was he like at Schalke?

And off topic; is casillas still playing ?
 

TRUERED89

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What was he like at Schalke?

And off topic; is casillas still playing ?
Way past his best but still scored goals, a few in the CL as well.


Casillas retired last month whilst at Porto, he had a heart attack last year too.
 

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I always liked him as a player but kind of felt he was being made better because he played in a awesome team. But at Schalke he took away any doubts I might have had that he was a one off great..


What a player.

The Irwin of strikers, always good and underappreciated.
 

galwayfa

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Rual was to me like Kevin keegan, brilliant and was very important to the team, but players that followed them, Dalglish and Ronaldo seem to dilute their actual brilliance
 

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A bit off topic but who was that Real striker coming through in Raul’s later years that was dubbed the “new Raul” and broke a lot of his youth records along the way? I might be misremembering and he played for another club but he’d be in his low to mid 30s now I imagine.
 

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A bit off topic but who was that Real striker coming through in Raul’s later years that was dubbed the “new Raul” and broke a lot of his youth records along the way? I might be misremembering and he played for another club but he’d be in his low to mid 30s now I imagine.
In the early 00s? Javier Portillo ?

edit: Could be Soldado
 

GifLord

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10 points to Gryffindor.

I remember him breaking all the records and then fizzling our to nothing.
First time i heard of him was when i watched UCL Highlights and he scored a screamer from 30+ yards vs Panathinaikos :D
 

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Fergie once said he was the best player in the world. Some Madrid fans believed he was their greatest player of all time.... Until CR7 arrived.

Hard to compare him to anyone as he was unique. Maybe Figo or Robben or Van Persie.
 
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Okey

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Definitely one of the greats. Each time I remember him I think of the lobs. He always had me wondering why more players didn't lob the ball over keepers. Elegance personified. Great player...
 

Karel Podolsky

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, I can't imagine Raúl scoring Rooney's scissor goal (against City).
That goal was great but I can imagine even shit avarage players score a goal or two like that.

*just hours ago watched Andre Pierre Gignac's goal highlights in Mexican League, he has score like 5-6 scissor kicks in that league.
 

lysglimt

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To me - Raul was to Spain and Real what Rooney was to United and England.
 

André Dominguez

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Good Thread.
With all that free time right now i was watching some old classic matches of that Galactico Team and was asking myself the same question about how good Raul really was but also how about Figo?
Was Figo considered absolute World Class back in the day? Maybe he was at Barca but he never really stood out at Real imo
Figo is clearly a GOAT contender at his position. Not only his goals and assists numbers were impressive, but his successful dribbles rating made him a key to any team's success. He was good to the point that Inter wanted him to play 1 more season when he retired, because he still had great impact as power sub, but he refused saying he was no longer happy with his output.
 

giorno

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Figo is clearly a GOAT contender at his position. Not only his goals and assists numbers were impressive, but his successful dribbles rating made him a key to any team's success. He was good to the point that Inter wanted him to play 1 more season when he retired, because he still had great impact as power sub, but he refused saying he was no longer happy with his output.
absolutely

And i'd have a hard time deciding who was better between him and Raul. Figo was more of a creative force and was more visibly unplayable on his day, at times he was a one man team and downright unstoppable, while Raul was more subtle in his influence but he always, always could be counted on to pop up with a decisive play or two
 

André Dominguez

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absolutely

And i'd have a hard time deciding who was better between him and Raul. Figo was more of a creative force and was more visibly unplayable on his day, at times he was a one man team and downright unstoppable, while Raul was more subtle in his influence but he always, always could be counted on to pop up with a decisive play or two
That Real Madrid squad was a bit unbalanced, but still good enough to win lots of titles.
Those beautiful first touch passing build ups are still fresh in my memory. I remember a goal against Porto scored by Solari where the whole play was give an go first touch.