Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wine Women and Raul

Posted by Shibarjun Ghosh,India

"Its Raul and its goallllllllllllll…."shouts Andy Gray in his typically enthusiastic way for the 309thtime.

A record breaker just 15 minutes into the match and 76 minutes into the clock he is a record maker….welcome the new all time highest goal scorer for Real Madrid..Raul Gonzales Blanco. Overtaking Don Alfredo di Stefano's record is a monumental task…and special tasks calls for special men….the son of Madrid, the paragon of the club and a beacon of hope for all Madrid enthusiasts for 15 years. Raul has been a true ambassador for the club since the tender age of  17, ever since he broke into the first team from real Madrid C after a flurry of 16 goals in 7 matches and a recommendation from a certain Rafael Benitez..


It all started at the La Romareda on 29th October 1994,Jorge Valdano (the then Real Madrid manager) brought on the young Raul infront of 35,000 hostile Zaragoza fans. He surely did have baptism with fire on his first night out with the first team. He did not score until his next match in the fiery Madrid derby against cross town rivals Athletico Madrid, but since then goals have been coming in plenty for him.15 years, 2 Pchichi, 6 la Liga , 4 super copa, 3 champions league, 2 inter continnental cups and 1 uefa Super Cup later he still have enough fire in his belly to match the hunger in his eyes.


A true gentelman to the core he embodies every value that the club is known for…hard work, commitment, team spirit, resilience, determination, professionalism, loyalty, passion and honesty. If u don't love him u surely have to respect him.. there are no two ways about that, something even hardcore Camp Nou faithfuls in Catalunya heartland  won't contradict.


"Who ever wears the "el siete" will play on winged feet" is said among the Bernabeu faithfuls….and Raul certainly have lived up to the standard set by the former greats who had donned the famous shirt.

Only the fourth player  in 40 years after the legendary Amancio , Juanito and Butragueno to wear the magical "el siete" no 7 shirt….Raul certainly has not only lived up to their reputation but has also raised the bar for future generations to follow. The living legend and a part of the Madrid folklore La Quinta del Butir,Emilo Butragueno says "Raul is an obvious example of what a Real Madrid player should be.He is an exemplary sportsman who upholds many values of Alfredo di Stefano..he is fighter who never gives up...these are qualities which are attibuted to Real Madrid."

15 years on, at the age of 31 years he certainly is not at the prime of his form but he has the truckloads of dedication to make up for it. From spending hours in specially installed oxygen chambers in his room to working out late hours in the Veldabebas , he does it all to stay fit and not being injured in the last two years is enough testimony to his dedication and resilience. Just as when he has been written off he has come on and scored goals, won matches, won trophies and conquered frontiers…a habit he is finding hard to shake off.


Raul  has been a perfect ambassador not only of Real Madrid club but also Spanish and World football. Along with Ryan Giggs ,Paul Scholes , Paulo Maldini, Francesco Totti , Raul has been a rare specie of the "One man one club" group…something that is very hard to come by across in the cash rich football business where mercenaries rules the roost and loyalties change overnight over sacks of money. A role model for every youngster aspiring to make it big in the footballing world Raul is dignity and dedication personified.


Thank you Raul Gonzalez Blanco…you're the true mascot of not only Real Madrid football club or Castilla or Spain or world football but also of hardwork, dedication, dignity, resilience and character.And with time you are simply getting better.

"Wine and women get better with age"...they say.Its time we add Raul Gonzalo Blanco's name to that list.


Vamos El Capitan.

hala madrid


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