[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] International soccer's top goalscorers will on center stage in the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. Lionel Messi for Barcelona. Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid. Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez for Manchester United. The biggest surprise in the group is 33-year-old Raul. Unwanted by Real Madrid after 16 years with the Merengues, the Spaniard moved to Germany's Schalke 04 on a free transfer and he's helped the Gelsenkirchen club reach the semifinals.
Raul scored in both legs of the quarterfinal series against Inter Milan to up his Champions League career total to 71 goals.
He has five goals in 10 Champions League games to go along with 12 goals in 29 Bundesliga games.
Felix Magath gave Raul new life when he signed him to a two-year contract, and Raul wants to stay at Schalke despite Magath's departure as head coach.
"I will stay until 2012," Raul told Bild after Magath's exit after the round-of-16 series against Valencia. "Magath wanted me in the team at all costs but I didn't sign a contract with Felix Magath, I signed with Schalke 04. I am a professional and I will continue to give my best."
Schalke is not only in the semifinals of the Champions League, where it will face Manchester United, it is the final of the German Cup against second division Duisburg with U.S. international David Yelldell in goal.
"We want to win the German Cup," said Raul. "It is all the more important for me as I have never won a national cup."
He won six La Liga titles at Real Madrid and three UEFA Champions League trophies but never the Copa del Rey.