Raúl García – the man they love to hate

Arthur Guisasola looks at the heir to Diego Costa's throne


Thug. Disgusting. Cabrón. Hijo de pu…

The bad boys of football, the player unconditionally loved if he plays for your team and the player absolutely loathed if he plays for the opposition. Every club has one, sometimes two. Hell, some teams are full of ‘em

Last year, Diego Costa was the poster bad boy in La Liga. His vulgar, crude and intimidating attitude made him hated by practically everyone in Spain. Except for Atlético fans that is.

“Diego Costa oeoe. Diego Costa oeoe.” Ringing around the Vicente Calderón whenever Costa was on the pitch. But the Spaniard-Brazilian is no longer in Madrid and Atlético fans worldwide lost their crazy ‘child.’ A replacement was necessary.

At first, Mario Mandzukic was believed to be Diego Costa’s heir due to his aggressive play style. However, the ‘cabrón’ title was passed on before Mandzukic had ever arrived at the Calderón.

“Raúl García lolololo. Raúl García lolololo.”

Raúl García – the man who broke his nose in 2007 way before Mandzukic, Jesús Gámez and Diego Godín decided it was the cool thing to do. The ‘thug’ that gets yellow carded while warming up. The ‘cabrón’ with one of best headers in the game. Raúl García, Spain’s new number 7. The real Raúl.

In 31 matches so far, Raúl García has 11 yellow cards. In comparison, he had 16 total yellow cards last season in 53 matches. In fact, García had more yellow cards last season than ‘bad boy’ Costa who had 13.

Diego Costa may have gotten all of the attention, but the real bad boy was Raúl García and he’s here to stay.

Raúl García is Atlético’s vice captain for the second season in a row. A sight unimaginable by Colchoneros when young 21-year-old García was signed by the rojiblancos.

Raúl García has the ability to rile up fans, players and the ref. His goal in the dying minutes at the Bernabéu in the Supercopa match didn’t quiet the Madridistas. It did the opposite. Chants against Raúl García could be heard throughout the stadium. His play style angers some, but his goals anger others even more.

Raúl García doesn’t shut people up. He makes them angry. He makes them sweat. He makes them scream. He makes them feel uncomfortable.

Raúl García, the player who scores in the Bernabéu and points to the Atleti crest as he celebrates.

“Raúl García lolololo. Raúl García lololol.”

  • I really love your articles Arthur, but I’m sorry, I hate this one

    You can’t seriously but Raul in the same category with Pepe, Ramos, Suarez, Boita & Materazzi, not because he plays for my team, but because he doesn’t belong there
    Diego Costa played for us but I showed my disapproval and even my hate to his behavior before the fans of the opponent teams did
    I also hated Reyes, and I still do, the winger who have seen the red card 5 times when he played for us, more than Godin & Miranda, the center backs who played more games than him

    Raul is not violent, is not a provoker, is not a biter, is not a spitter & is not a racist
    I will NEVER put Raul Garcia in the “players loathed by the oppositions” list, and I will NEVER call him a bad boy

    Yes, he slapped Khedira & Neymar, but they were just little harmless slaps, and they were reactions to their provocation, and protection to his teammates from being bullied, every team like Atleti who aren’t protected by the refs need a player like that

    And yes, he gets a lot of yellow cards, 11 so far this season and 16 last season as you mentioned, and I will add to that the fact that he is the 5th player in all Atleti history with more yellow cards, 86, but guess who is number 3 ?! it’s Gabi, with 90 yellow cards, and he played much less games than Raul, should we call Gabi a bad boy as well ?!
    We are Atleti fans and we watch all their games, so we know why Raul & Gabi and other players get so many yellows, tactical fouls, but always harmless, and for protesting, since Spanish refs can not handle a single word form our players and show them the yellow or even the red once they open their mouths

    Do you know why they REALLY hate Raul ?!

    The small teams hate him because he is everything they wanted to be but they couldn’t
    He is just an ordinary player like most of them, not very skillful, but yet he became a big star with his hard work and fighting spirit, and that hurts them too much

    While the big teams hate him because he is against everything they are, didn’t cost 100 million, cant dribble 5 players at once, can’t score from long distance or from free kicks, only has one haircut and doesn’t have 10 million followers on twitter & facebook, doesnt even have twitter of facebook accounts

    But despite all of that, he had the same success they had, a vice captain of the champions of La Liga, and a player of the great La Roja, and that hurts them too much

    The haters just hate everybody in Atleti, even Torres & Tiago, and if Aragones was the one on our bench they would have hated hem too
    The haters will keep making lies about us, from “a violent team” to “the press are on their side” and a lot of bullshit in between
    We are used to that, and we don’t care about it anymore, but reading some of this stuff on an Atleti fans page -I’m sorry again Arthur- is disappointing

  • Kris

    In no way, was Arthur trying to undermine Raul Garcia. He made the same points you did, but in an entertaining and shorter way. The article certainly didn’t disappoint me, and I think not many people will be disappointed.

  • Yes, he did say that Raul “scores at the Bernabeu and points to the Atleti crest” and that’s why they hate him
    But many players do that and weren’t classified as bad boys who are loathed by the opponents
    Raul Gonzales & Messi did that a lot to us, but I don’t think there are many Atleti fans who hate them the same way they hate Neymar or Suarez or Pepe or Ramos or Crisitiano

    For me, Raul Garcia -despite the 86 cards- is in the same category with Raul Gonzales, Casillas, Puyol, Xavi and Iniesta, but Arthur did compare him to Diego Costa, and I absolutely refuse that

  • Totally agree Kris, the article just made me laugh. Which I guess was the point. I love RG8!

  • Luis

    Well I can tell you that it’s because of his behaviour on the pitch that the Real fans in my family and friends from Spain HATE Raul Garcia.
    He is no doubt our teams ‘bad boy’ and this is a crucial role for a team like Atleti.
    His diving (which unfortunately he does do) can become a bit too much at times, so much so that my dad, a reborn rojiblanco, curses him out haha.

    Great article Arthur, but I think you overlooked the baddest of them all, a certain Cholo Simeone!

  • If you and Kris are trying to say that Arthur was being sarcastic and he was making fool of those who consider Raul a violent player and a bad boy then it’s my bad, and I’m sorry for that
    Although it didn’t seem as a sarcasm to me, but I do have a problem of recognizing the sarcasm, like Sheldon Cooper !

    Or maybe the problem is that you all don’t realize how bad Diego Costa is, the one Arthur tried to compare Raul to, because for me, he was very bad, he still is

  • WhiteExar

    Haha, your explanation why we and Barca hate RG8 has to be the weirdest thing I’ve ever read. There are many more players who can’t dribble 5 people at once or that they don’t cost 80-100 million, why aren’t they hated? In fact, you’ve several players in Atlético who fit perfectly in your description

    I personally dislike him! I’d even easier for Costa than RG8. Costa do everything but it suits him because he’s such a type.