Schalke star Julian Draxler will be ready to join a European top club in one or two years' time, former Real Madrid and Schalke striker Raul believes.
The German side beat Al Saad 9-0 in the Raul testimonial at Schalke’s Veltins-Arena. The Real Madrid legend scored twice during the second half in which he wore the Royal Blues jersey for the last time. His first goal came after a superb assist from Schalke youngster Draxler.
The 19-year-old dribbled past three Al Saad defenders and then - using his right heel - chipped the ball onto his left foot from which it bounced off to Raul, who converted from close range for his first goal of the evening. The goal soon became a hit on YouTube. The 36-year old then added a second to make it 9-0 from the penalty spot.
“Glamour and a bit of magic - that goal fits Raul’s career,” Draxler told Bild said after the game.
The Germany international added that it had “been an honour” to play with Raul, a player he had close ties with.
In spring, Draxler had extended his Schalke contract until 2018 with a clause inserted meaning he can leave the club for €45 million, which would be the highest fee ever paid for a German footballer. He has turned down offers from Spain and England this summer in order to not put his World Cup hopes in danger.
“Jule would be well-advised to stay here for one or two more years,” Raul told reporters after the game. "And then I trust him to make the switch to a big club, be it England or Spain. My preference, of course, is Real Madrid."
On Monday, Schalke general manager Horst Heldt, who late last week had said he hoped Draxler would stay beyond 2014, told the print edition of kicker that the club were already making plans for a possible Draxler departure.
“We already started planning the 2014-15 season," he said. "It is part of my job to allow for all possibilities. Essentially, we still plan with Julian. He also says that it is a likely option he will opt for us again."
Heldt admitted that he would have never considered that clubs would start chasing Draxler as early as this summer.
“Julian’s departure would have caused quite a headache, anything else would be a lie,” he said.