Valdano: Raul can be Real's Guardiola
Former Real Madrid coach coach Jorge Valdano has told AS that Raul Gonzalez could soon return to Los Blancos as coach and make a similar impact to Pep Guardiola at Barcelona.
Raul scored a club-record 323 goals in 741 appearances for Real between 1994 and 2010, having previously come through the youth ranks at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
After two years at Bundesliga side Schalke, the 36-year-old is currently at Qatari club Al-Sadd, but is set to retire at the end of the current campaign.
Former Barca defender Guardiola followed a similar path, gaining experience both elsewhere in Europe and in Qatar, before returning to the Camp Nou as a coach and going on to oversee the most successful era in the Catalan club’s history.
Valdano -- the coach who gave Raul his Madrid debut as a 17-year-old -- thinks that the striker would likely bring a more ‘German’ organisation to the teams he goes on to coach.
"It would not be a team comparable to Guardiola's," Valdano said at an event in Madrid organised by football magazine Panenka. "Raul admires more German teams than Brazilian teams. I believe he is really intelligent, he has the personality to stop a train, with Madridismo coming out of all his pores.
"He is destined to be the Guardiola of Real Madrid, but with an identity which is more of Real Madrid than Barcelona. I believe he is preparing for this, and he will do it with the same intelligence with which he managed his career as a player.
"He is very relaxed about it, but I am very impatient about seeing his Madrid. He will bring a sentimental depth to the club."
Raul left Madrid under something of a cloud in 2010, reportedly at the wishes of club president Florentino Perez and the incoming coach Jose Mourinho.
Ahead of last August's exhibition game between Los Blancos and Al-Sadd at the Bernabeu, Raul suggested that it would make sense to gain more coaching experience elsewhere before he eventually ended up back at the Bernabeu.
"To come [back] to Madrid is always in my head; when I believe that I can bring something to the club I would be delighted to return," Raul said.
"But for that, a transition is necessary, and an apprenticeship to know if I am capable of doing something which can help."