Real Madrid icon Raul has confessed to enjoying the Champions League successes of his former club’s arch-rivals Barcelona.
Raul was a three-time winner of Europe’s premier club competition during a trophy-laden spell with Madrid from 1994 to 2010, lifting the trophy once more than Barca did in the same time span.
However, the 38-year-old insists he can still take pleasure in seeing some of the continental success go Barca’s way because they are representing Spain.
Furthermore, he feels it adds to the intense competition between the Liga pair which he believes helps strengthen them.
“When they [Barca] win the Champions League, I am glad. In the end it is a Spanish team and I have no problem saying that publicly,” said Raul in an interview with Vanity Fair.
“The rivalry helps the two clubs: Barca would not be without Madrid and vice versa – they need each other. Why would I wish harm to anyone? It is not within my personality.”
Raul never felt hostility from players on the opposite side of the Clasico divide and claimed relations were always amicable, while reserving special praise for Pep Guardiola.
“[Pep and I] liked football. The rivalry was very nice, the same as it was with [Carles] Puyol or Xavi,” Raul said.
“Pep and I played together for the national team and there was always chemistry. He is one of the best coaches in history.”
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