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Raul makes move to Qatar

Updated: Sunday, 13 May 2012 10:30 | Comments

Raul scored 323 goals for Real Madrid before moving to Schalke
Raul scored 323 goals for Real Madrid before moving to Schalke

Qatari club Al Sadd have confirmed the signing of former Spain striker Raul from the start of next season.

The 34-year-old announced last month that he would be leaving Schalke at the end of the campaign, despite having proved a hit in Gelsenkirchen since arriving from Real Madrid in 2010.

His destination was unknown, but Al Sadd said on their website that he will be their player for the 2012/13 campaign.

"Al Sadd will hold a press conference on Sunday, May 13 to present Spanish star Raul Gonzalez, who is contracted to the team for the 2012/13 season," the club statement read.

Raul revealed at a press conference on April 19 that he would play his club football outside Europe for the first time next season, adding that the time was right to move to "a less competitive league" after turning down the offer of a new deal from Schalke.

He insisted being able to spend more time with his family was the key factor in his decision, and that his eventual destination would depend more on them than on money.

"I definitely have the self-confidence to play in a tough league, but it is more about the family," he said.

"I have not been able to spend much time with them lately. The Bundesliga is so demanding that you cannot spend so long with them.

"We will now look at the offers and see what gives me the most time for family life."

Raul attained legendary status during his many years as a first-team regular at Real Madrid, and left the Bernabeu holding club records for appearances (741) and goals (323).

But rather than retire or accept a fringe role within Real's squad, the three-time Champions League winner opted to move on and further his career in the Bundesliga.

He quickly became a fans' favourite for Schalke after scoring 13 goals in his debut campaign, including two hat-tricks. He added a further 15 goals this season to help the Royal Blues secure third spot in the Bundesliga and an automatic Champions League berth for next term.

Raul, who scored 44 goals in 102 appearances for his country, became the all-time top scorer in the Champions League during his time at Schalke - moving onto 71 goals - but even the prospect of another year in the competition could not persuade him to stay.

He added last month: "Of course it would have been attractive to play in the Champions League once again. But, on the other hand, this further reduces your family life and that is what I want now."

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