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Euro 2000


Star player: Raúl

Full name: Raúl González Blanco
Date of birth: 27 June 1977
Club:Real Madrid

The new phenomena of Spanish football, Raúl is rewriting the record books at the tender age of 22. The Real Madrid striker has already passed the 100 goal mark in the Spanish league, a remarkable feat when considered against a veteran striker such as Julio Salinas, who at 37 years old has only just scored 150, the highest of any player still active in the league.

Born and bred in Madrid, Raúl was actually on the youth books of Atlético Madrid before he joined local rivals Real Madrid in 1992 after Atlético decided to disband their junior teams (he did however manage to score 65 goals in his first season in Atlético's 'infantil' team).

He made his full debut with Real Madrid under manager Jorge Valdano in October 1994, and although he didn't score he became a permanent fixture in the first team. A bit of rebel when young, he has settled down recently, and got married in summer last year (he now dedicates all of his goals to his wife Mamen by kissing his wedding ring). In the 1998/9 season he was top scorer ('Pichichi') in the Spanish league with 37 goals, and he has already won the Champions League, the Intercontinental cup (scoring the only goal) and two Spanish league titles.

His first game for 'la selección' came in October 1996 against the Czech Republic, and since then he has scored 16 goals in 31 appearances, already close to Butragueño's record of 26 in 69.