Earlier this week, we heard whispers that Real Madrid legend Raul Gonzalez was leaning toward retiring at the end of the NASL season. On Thursday, the New York Cosmos confirmed the news, that the Spaniard would be hanging up his boots for good in November.
When Raul signed his two-year deal this past December, the decision on whether or not he'd play one season or two was left to be made this autumn, based on how the forward felt. Gonzalez had the following to say about the decision that he wound up making:
"When I signed for the New York Cosmos in December, I said I would evaluate how I felt towards the end of the year and assess whether I would continue to play."
"My decision is to retire from playing at the end of this season. I am fully focused on finishing the season strong and helping the New York Cosmos win the NASL Championship. In the coming months I will decide the next step in my career."
"Playing soccer has been part of my life for so long and the decision to retire is not an easy one but I believe it is the right time."
"I'm thankful to everyone who has supported me throughout my career and I look forward to playing my final games with the New York Cosmos over the coming weeks."
Watching Raul this season has been an awful lot of fun, and with any luck, we'll get to see him lead the club to another piece of silverware before he calls it a career. Regardless of whether he goes out the way of Pele or not, these final three (and hopefully four) matches will be special.