Fernando Hierro believes former Real Madrid teammate Raul has all the tools to follow in Zinedine Zidane’s footsteps and one day take the Bernabeu reins.
Raul, 42, enjoyed a glittering 16-year career in the Spanish capital between 1994 and 2010, scoring over 300 goals for Los Blancos and truly etching his name in Real folklore.
Could Raul manage Real one day? Five things to know…
- Raul emerged from the Real academy in 1994 and went on to make over 700 appearances for the club.
- He is currently the club’s record appearance maker and has scored the second-most goals, behind Cristiano Ronaldo.
- The Spaniard recently completed his UEFA coaching badges and took charge of Real’s Castilla team in June.
- He has previously coached the club’s Cadete B and Juvenil B sides.
- Former teammate Hierro has now back him to go on and manage the Real first-team one day.
Since hanging up his boots in 2015 Raul has turned to the dugout, recently following in the path of so many ex-Real players by taking charge of the club’s Castilla team.
The former Spain international was recently promoted from Real Madrid’s U15 side to the reserve team in the summer, and Hierro – who made over 400 appearances for Real himself – has backed his ex-colleague to make the next step up soon.
Zidane famously started out as coach of Real Madrid Castilla before going on to manage the first-team, as did Santiago Solari, and Hierro believes Raul is next in line.
“Raul has everything you need to become Real Madrid coach,” Hierro insisted, on Radio Marca.
“We had all been told – when we were players – about a kid who was scoring for fun in the underage groups…that he was different.
“This was a boy who had his eyes wide open, who had plenty of enthusiasm and a level of drive and ambition that was much higher than usual.
“We all understood what he represented and what he would become.”
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Zidane also backs Raul
Current Real manager and another ex-colleague of Raul, Zidane, also gave a ringing endorsement of the Madridista’s credentials.
Zidane played alongside Raul for five years between 2001 and 2006, and he insists he saw enough to know that he has the resilience and know-how to one day take the Real hot seat.
“I played alongside him and he was an important player for this great club,” Zidane said.
“I’m sure he’ll coach Real Madrid one day.”