Raul Leaves Bundesliga After Just Two Seasons, Schalke Retire No. 7 Shirt

Alan Duffy

19th, April 2012


By Alan Duffy

Maradona, Maldini, Riva, Moore and Cruyff are just some of the great names in football who, after having a monumental effect on their respective clubs, were given the ultimate honour of having their shirt number retired by those teams.

However, news from Germany that Schalke are to retire the no. 7 shirt in honour of their departing Spaniard, Raul, after just two years of service, does seem a little bit extreme.

Don’t get me wrong, the striker was one of the greats of his generation, inspiring Real Madrid to countless trophies (including six league titles and three Champions League successes). In his time at Schalke, his goals did inspire them to a domestic cup triumph, and he had a very good rapport with the fans, but he hardly had the sort of impact worthy of retiring his shirt number? Club bigwig Horst Heldt said:

“The number 7 is no longer awarded for an indefinite time at Schalke.”

Seems rather OTT, no?

Raul now plans to finish his career outside of Europe, most likely in a lucrative Middle-Eastern league.  And good luck to him.

Posted in Bundesliga

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  1. kurt says:

    he was certainly a fan-favourite. someone who worked hard and never complained. a great sportsman. guys like that are adored in a working-class club like schalke. so i can understand that they retire the 7 in his honour. also, his performances for schalke were outstanding

  2. Mr. Sparkle says:

    Such a North American thing to do anyway. I think if a number is going to be retired, it should only be in honour of a player who died. Such as Marc Vivien Foe`s number 23 at Manchester City.

    Although Schalke has always been a team which has lacked class or tact.

  3. Murray says:

    Pele played less three full seasons for New York Cosmos before that team retired No. 10.

  4. Phil says:

    I agree with what Mr Sparkle. It is odd indeed how Schalke officials treat him. They also offered him, as part of his contract-extension, to become ambassador of Schalke 04 – which was odd as well! He refused that part of the offer pretty quick. Maybe they should’ve rather just given him a 2-year-deal… well, who cares now?!
    On the other hand, he was loved very much by Schalkes fans, even singing with them in their main stands.
    It’s a sad thing for the Bundesliga that he leaves…
    …BUT I (and lots of other football-fans) can now dislike those Schalke-Idiots without any restrictions again – which is good!

  5. Hey ma, get off tha dang roof! says:

    Fair points, but if Nicolas Anelka can become the coach for Shanghai within half a year of being at the club, why not bestow this great honour upon Raul? The man who not only got them into Champion’s League, but helped them to the semi-finals.

  6. Piesfanfromgermany says:

    “…BUT I (and lots of other football-fans) can now dislike those Schalke-Idiots without any restrictions again – which is good!”


  7. Connor says:

    How about this: The Seattle Sounders look set to lose Fredy Montero in the summer, opening up a Designated Player spot and leaving a big hole at withdrawn forward… Seems possible, right?

  8. MarcosR says:

    Don’t ever mention the MLS ever again. No one cares about that shit league. I still think its ridiculous that they have “designated players.”

  9. Milkchew says:

    “Withdrawn forward”?

    I only wish I could use radiation to make my hand grow to giant proportions in order to justifiably face palm you.

  10. Al says:

    smacks of small club itis, the only real superstar to evr play for them (only two years) and they retire his jersey, ridiculous what will happen next, Liverpool to retire Carrolls jersey for the winner in the semi’s

  11. AGB says:

    @MarcosR – @Connor obviously cares about the MLS. I’m not that interested in it but I’m happy to listen to peoples opinions. Its ridiculous to me that you think that you have some power of veto to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do. Did you enjoy being a prick then, or is it just a gift you have without realising it?

    What’s the difference between designated players in the MLS and the days of Serie A having a three foreigner rule in the times of Gullit, Van Basten and Rijkard? Surely its all about restricting teams within a league from buying up the best players so no one else can have them. What you call it is meaningless.

  12. Christian says:

    I mean, they can do what they´re please to do but to me it´s seems – yeah – a little odd. The name Raul is used as a surrogate, a substitute for missing stars, for a missing consistency player wise that allows you to retire a number. But …

  13. lurker says:

    he should join drogba in china.

  14. MarcosR says:

    @AGB No shit Sherlock, this is the fucking internet, obviously I know I don’t have the power to tell people what they can and can not comment. I was just voicing my opinion. It is true that a common football fan (outside of the US) would not give a shit about the MLS. I was merely voicing my opinion that Connor should not bother commenting about the MLS because no one cares. If you felt I insulted Connor personally, I apologize to Connor as that was not my intention(Just ripping the MLS). But where do you get off insulting me? Calling me out as a prick. Don’t be so righteous, “I’m happy to listen to peoples opinions,” yeah bull shit if that were true than you would have left my opinion be.

  15. Connor says:

    @MarcosR well i guess supporting my local club, as well as providing a relevant transfer rumor, is a waste of everyone’s time. Alan, how dare you mention that a player is leaving Europe, you should instead report that they have died. It’s not as if several players from MLS came to the Premier League for a couple of months and had a noticeable impact.

  16. Milkchew says:

    May aswell have died tbh.

  17. Tom Jones says:

    They are not retiring the number 7 just not using it for a season or two. Get your facts right.

  18. Cosa says:

    You’re right, Tom.

    Indefinite non-use isn’t just non-use. As Stevens said, hut ab vor Raul. He is a true gentleman and clearly had a strong impact. Who are we to set the standards by which another club shows its love for a player, especially a German club, they have the most loyal fan support in Europe.

  19. Bruno says:

    Just imagine if Man United decides to retire shirts. Best, Law, Charlton, Cantona, Bruce, Giggs, Scholes, Keane, Beckham, Ronaldo, Irwin, Schemeichel, Solskjaer, etc
    There will be no shirts avaliable in the near future

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