I'll only return to Spain for Real Madrid, says Raul

The Spanish forward has joined New York Cosmos in a player-director capacity but claims it would be hard to turn down the chance to coach at Santiago Bernabeu

Real Madrid legend Raul has said his former team is the only club he will work for in Spain – but believes he needs more experience before taking up a coaching role.

The striker, who spent 18 years at the European giants, winning six league titles and three Champion Leagues, has joined New York Cosmos as a player ahead of the 2015 MLS season but is also due to become the director of the club’s new academy.

After his unveiling, the 37-year-old admitted he would jump at the chance to rejoin Madrid in future, but only once he has built up some experience as a coach.

“Everyone always said ‘go to Real Madrid, go to Real Madrid’, but I feel like that will come, but I need to gain experience first,” he told reporters.

“You don’t just go to Real Madrid to coach without experience. It is not the same playing as it is training, so I am excited to do this here.

“If I return to Spain I’ll work for Madrid. It’s my house, where I developed, where I have friends, but right now I’m focused on this project.”

The former Spain international said he is looking forward to working at his new club as a player and helping improve the youth system.

“I had always wanted to come to the US, and especially to join the Cosmos, because of the club’s history, with players like Pele, [Franz] Beckenbauer and [Giorgio] Chinaglia.

“When I arrived I had no doubts about signing for this great club. Being able to play and to help develop the academy. Gio showed me the club’s vision and that’s why I’m here.

“It’s a big challenge, personally and for my family. I’ll put in every effort to make sure the project is a success.”

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