There are probably few players that symbolize Real Madrid so much as Raul, who got his debut in 1994, and has played 740 matches, scored 323 official goals for Real Madrid, contributing to winning three Champions League titles and six Spanish league titles. Although rumours have circulated for a while now, it is now official: Raul is leaving, and he is going to the German club Schalke 04.
That he is leaving is not so surprising, but I think a lot of people, including myself, are surprised that he will go to Schalke 04. Although he will be playing Champions League football, and surely in a German league with great atmosphere, it seems notable that he did not choose to go to the Premier League, or to a more Mediterranean league like Italy, France, Greece, or even Turkey (where another old Real Madrid player, Guti, who also announced he is leaving Real Madrid, is likely heading). Schalke 04 is surely a good club, but not the kind of club that has attracted super stars.
Raul's career is nevertheless ebbing, and it remains to be seen whether he will actually manage to become a starter on the German side.
No matter what, this is the end of an era in Real Madrid.