Today Raul Gonzalez announced that he was leaving Real Madrid after sixteen years with the first team. I have never been a big Raul fan, mainly because during the last decade (since I have lived in Madrid), Raul’s performance was consistently discrete, having lost his unique spark of the 90s. Nevertheless, I fully recognize that his lack of protagonism on the field was made up for by his stellar leadership role. Without a doubt, Raul — as far back as I can remember — has been the local emblem of his team.
What struck me most today when I read the news was not that Raul was leaving (I have been waiting for that for a few years) but the date in which he first debuted with Real Madrid: October 29, 1994. At first glance, 1994 doesn’t seem so far in the past, but sixteen years is in fact a long time. Just looks at the second video to see how much Raul as changed since his debut. It is a good measuring stick of how much time has changed in the past decade and a half.