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Raul joins Qatar's Al Sadd

  • AP, Monday, May 14, 2012 4:41 PM

Raul confirmed that he has signed with Qatar's Al Sadd, several weeks after announcing he would leave German club Schalke 04 at the end of the season.

The Doha club signed the 34-year-old former Real Madrid and Spain captain to a one-year deal. Raul was in the stands Saturday to watch Al Gharrafa beat Al Sadd, 5-4, on penalties in the Emir Cup.

Raul finished with 27 goals in 63 Bundesliga appearances for Schalke. He won the German Cup and reached the semifinals of the Champions League in his first season with the club.

There had been speculation of a possible move to the Philadelphia Union, but MLS clubs are no match when it comes to competition from clubs from the cash-rich Gulf for aging stars. Spanish players in particular have close ties with Qatar. Spain and Qatar formed an alliance in connection with the World Cup 2018 and 2022 bids.

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1 comment about "Raul joins Qatar's Al Sadd".
  1. Carlos Thys, May 15, 2012 at 12:16 p.m.

    Gosh. How predictable was this? Raul is just like all the others -- cash wins out. Remember: German club Schalke 04 wanted to keep Raul through to May 2013 but only offered a one-year contract extension (for really good money!) Raul balked. After you've made well over 125 million (valued in Euros, not dollars) in your career...you still need more. And nobody can tell me that playing in Qatar is even remotely professionally "rewarding." For the bank account, perhaps. For one's "giving back" to the game? For one's playing legacy? For taking the game to a new venue? Hardly. And living in Qatar is a real lose-lose for one's family, too.

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