As far as splashes go, the Cosmos couldn't get much bigger than Raul. The Spanish legend is Real Madrid's all-time leader in both appearances and goals, as well as being the all-time leading goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League. Now 36, Raul is currently on a one-year deal with Qatari side Al Sadd. His contract reportedly pays him around $15 million per year, a number the Cosmos wouldn't be able to come close to matching.
That said, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the club is interested, and that they have been encouraged by what they've heard thus far. While Raul will still be under contract with Al Sadd when the spring season gets underway, the Cosmos are said to be interested in bringing him aboard for the fall campaign (and hopefully a Soccer Bowl appearance).
Even at an advanced age, it's hard to imagine that a player like Raul wouldn't be able to contribute against NASL defenses. More importantly though, Raul would be a PR coup for the second-year NASL club. Forget David Beckham and Thierry Henry, Raul's resume would immediately become the best we've seen in the United States since the days of Pele and Franz Beckenbauer. After the Andre Lewis signing just prior to the MLS SuperDraft, it would be another impressive score in an increasingly competitive New York market.
This could be the first real indicator of just how large the Cosmos' name still is overseas. If Raul makes the decision to join for the fall season, it won't be because of money as it was in the case of Pele. This time, the Cosmos' global appeal would be the primary recruiting tool. This should be a lot of fun to watch as it develops.