Sir Alex Ferguson supposedly tried to lure Raul to Manchester United three years ago.
The Spanish legend was approaching the end of his illustrious career at his beloved Real Madrid, for whom he helped win six La Liga titles and three UEFA Champions Leagues. He also clocked up a record number of 741 appearances for Los Blancos, whilst his goal tally of 323 is also a record and some 16 more than Alfredo di Stefano.
But with his place in the starting line-up no longer assured, Raul decided end his 16-year reign at the Bernabeu in 2010. He eventually signed a two-year contract with Felix Magath’s Schalke, but his agent has now revealed that Ferguson wanted him at United. But due to a lack of guarantees about his role in the first team, he opted for Germany.
“There were some teams after him, including Manchester United,” said Gines Carvajal. “But there was one person in Felix Magath, who convinced him to go to Schalke to fight with him United were serious, but there was some uncertainty about his role in the team.
“Raul’s decision was thought through, not a heat of the moment. There was no doubt from us. At Madrid they thought he would not go. But we believed it was wrong to have a player of his class not playing. The decision to leave was the right one.”
Raul completed his two years at Schalke, scoring 28 goals in 66 Bundesliga outings, before heading to Qatar. He has been at Al Sadd since last May, but was back in the Spanish capital this week with his new club. The 36-year-old played a half in the colours of each team as Real beat the Qatari side 5-0 in the Trofeo Bernabeu.