Raúl leaves Real Madrid after 16 years and 17 seasons

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Real Madrid icon Raúl González has announced his departure from the Bernabéu where he has spent his entire career, having made his debut as a 17-year-old in 1994.

Real Madrid legend Raúl waves after news press conference in Madrid
Real Madrid legend Raúl waves after news press conference in Madrid

Photo: Reuters

The 33-year-old was a key part of one of the club's most successful sides ever, winning six La Liga titles, three Champions League trophies and 16 silverwares in total.

Last season Raúl was only a bit-part player and with Real having appointed a new coach in José Mourinho, there was little chance of the striker obtaining a starting role in the upcoming campaign.

Raúl, who scored 323 goals in 741 games for Los Blancos, told a press conference: "It's a hard day for me.

"I feel like a footballer still and I will keep on playing, but I will always be loyal to Real Madrid.

"Being a Real Madrid player is the greatest dream you can imagine.

"I have been happy at Real Madrid and I will always be willing to help the club in whatever it needs, but the time to leave has come.

"I have had the feeling that this is the time to move on. I have worn the Real Madrid shirt for many years. I'm 33 now and it is time for some younger and stronger players to come in.

"Also it was my last opportunity to have the experience of playing abroad. I have taken the decision with my family and I want to keep competing."

And here is an official thank you video from Real Madrid.

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