Raul confirms Real Madrid exit

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Raul has confirmed that he is leaving Real Madrid after spending the last 16 years at the Bernabeu.

The 33-year-old, who is expected to sign a two-year deal with Schalke, is Real's leading all-time goalscorer and also represented Spain on more than 100 occasions.

He said:"Today is a very difficult day for me. I love almost everything about playing football and I want to hold on to the feeling of being a player. I've always done my utmost on the pitch. The word surrender doesn't exist for me or Real Madrid.

"I'd like to thank everybody for their support throughout the years, the fans, my team-mates, coaches, presidents and the press. I want to say a special word of thanks to my family

"I'd be nothing without them. I also want to wish Alfredo Di Stefano a speedy recovery. I will always be ready if Real Madrid need me. Hala Madrid."

President Florentino Perez added:"There are a lot of men who are part of the history of Real Madrid. Raul has earned his place in the club's history with his tireless work for the club and his infinite love and support for everything that's Real Madrid.

"I hope that all the players who will join Real Madrid in the future fit the legacy that Raul has left behind at this team.

"Raul represents everything that this club's about. He has been one of the best players around this club and perfectly represents the spirit of Real Madrid.

"Raul is in charge of his own career and he has made the decision to leave Real Madrid. However, this is not a permanent farewell, as I'm sure he'll return to this club, just like honorary president Alfredo Di Stefano once did. Wherever you go, this will always be your home and you will not be forgotten."

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