11/19/06

Raul Gonzalez wanted to quit Madrid

Raul Gonzalez threatened to leave Real Madrid after a recent defeat. Club president Ramon Calderon said the captain told him he was "suffering a lot" and "couldn't sleep" following Madrid's 1-0 loss at Getafe on Oct. 14, the club's first league defeat of the season.


"He said if the situation continued he would leave and free the club from paying the salary of his long contract," Calderon told news agency Efe in an interview published on Tuesday. Raul, who last won a trophy with Madrid in 2003, has enjoyed an improvement since that defeat.

Four days later, he scored in Madrid's 4-1 Champions League victory over Steaua Bucharest and added another in Sunday's 2-0 win over FC Barcelona. The 29-year-old striker has had an up-and-down season.

He ended an 11-month goal drought for Madrid and established himself as the Champions League's all-time scoring leader with 54 goals, but was dropped from the Spain team for the first time in 10 years.

Calderon said Madrid would offer to host Spain's European Championship qualifier against Denmark on March 24 on one condition.

"If Raul's not there, we won't lend them the stadium," Calderon said. Madrid is fourth in the Spanish league with 14 points from seven games, two fewer than leader Barcelona.

 

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