Raúl García poised for Athletic move

We pay tribute as it's announced that the midfielder will leave

Cult hero departs after eight years at the Calderón

Cult hero departs after eight years at the Calderón

Raúl García, captain and Atlético legend, will join Athletic Club on a four-year-deal on a sum believed to be €8-10million.

Eight years ago, 21-year-old Raúl García signed for the club for a record fee of €13million. Today, he leaves a captain, a man, a legend and most importantly, a friend to everyone who played for the club.

Koke scored the 0-1 at the Sanchez Pizjuan, looked to the stands and dedicated his goal to the legend. Gabi scored the second and the celebration, actually dedication, was the same: five fingers on one hand and three on the other. ‘Cholo’ Simeone joined in and showed his respect to the real Raúl. Raúl García 8. RG8. Leyenda Rojiblanca.

After the Champions League semifinal in Stamford Bridge, Simeone thanked the players’ mothers for birthing them with massive bollocks. Surely, he called and personally thanked Raúl García’s mother and if not, I’ll do it here: Muchísimas gracias señora García.

No other player leaving has caused such a row from Atleti players past or present. Juanfran, Godín, Koke, Antonio López, Thibaut Courtois, Filipe Luis and Gabi all thanked Raúl García.

Atleti isn’t just losing a player; Atleti is losing a member of the family.

329 matches. Raúl played 329 matches for Atlético de Madrid. He won six titles with the club, only missing the second Europa League as he was playing in Osasuna on loan. Raúl leaves as the player with the most European matches for Atlético de Madrid, 71. But seriously, once again 329 matches. Ídolo.

His performances with the club, especially under Cholo, earned him his first call-ups for the Spanish national team. He chose the number seven. Why? Unlike Real Madrid legend, who happens to share the same name, he’s the real Raúl.

A little less than a year ago, I bought his jersey. I shouldn’t have. Every time I buy a jersey with a name on it, the player leaves the following season: Diego Forlán, Álvaro Dominguez, Diego Costa and now Raúl García. If I could go back in time, I would.

Gracias Raúl García. Every Atlético is anxiously waiting for Athletic Club to come to the Calderón to give you the goodbye you deserve. Gracias, gracias, gracias y gracias.

Me paro ya porque se me caen las lagrimas. (I’ll stop now because I’m beginning to cry.)

Don Raúl García, ladies and gentleman.

What are you favourite Raúl García moments in red and white?

  • Arjit Barua

    Gracias Raul

  • AaX

    Not a good news to me! is the least I could say. His presence in the whole Atleti universe whether active or not is crucial and vital to the club’s developing growth and most importantly Titles Winnings because not only he has the Heart of a Fighter but the Mindset of A Champion! This isn’t a popular move by the club because this ‘Kind’ is Not as easily replaceable and come once a decade. After Arda and Siqueira, I think this should be the final allowable mistake the club make before all becomes IRREVERSABLE to their whole well planned Progression and I mean this.

  • Suna Lee

    I’m gonna miss him, he is a kind of legend for Atleti

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    8 seasons, 329 games (14th in the club’s history, needed 40 games to be 7th and pass the other legend and the other 8, Luis Aragones, could have achieved that if he stayed one more season), 45 goals (more than Ufarte, Pantic, Maxi & Simao) 17 assists, 90 yellow cards (4th in the club’s history, more than many defenders who played much more games than him like Arteche & Aguilera), 3 red cards, 6 titles and million cojones .

    By all means : a legend .

  • Chewie

    I wish that in Athletic he’ll become the top scorer and win the Europa League or the Cup. The manliest and most spirited of our players. Farewell.

  • The first one to retaliate in defense of a teammate, the first one to get in the oppositions face, the one who could change the pace of a game coming in from the bench, the one with a heart of a warrior. Dirty when he needed to be, yet had a touch of class when that was required. He will be incredibly missed, which was obvious during the celebrations during the goals against Sevilla.

    Although there will always be those who condemn such a move, I really hope our supporters not only give him the farewell he deserves, but a warm welcome whenever he comes to visit. Allowing a move to the competition is never popular, but if there’s one guy that deserves to get what he wants, it’s Don Raúl García.

    Gracias por todo!

  • Arda wanted to leave. As far as I could tell, he decided he couldn’t keep up the intensity that Cholo demands.

  • Raúl García is exactly the type of player Cholo Simeone creates. He is gone now but he left with class. No negative comments to the press for Raúl. But on the other side of the fence, Koke, Griezmann and even Simeone himself made sure PUBLICLY that he was appreciated and will be missed. Total class all around. Just like El Nino, he will never be booed when he returns to the Calderon. He was a fan favorite we will all cherish.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    As soon as I wanted to keep him around this happens.
    Thank you Raúl Garcia, may you enjoy your footballing life and life in general after making this move

  • Jadine

    love this site, its definitely one of my favourites.

    I recently found a website Sporticos (www.sporticos.com) that does sick football infographics you can download for free. Thought it might be useful to have them in your posts to make them easier to visualise.

    Anyways, great work!

  • Ringo


  • Davidinsf

    Raul Golcia. The man, the legend. I will never forget he gave c Ronaldo a tongue lashing after a pompous pass off his back and the legend Raul Golcia says. You wouldn’t have done that at 0-0 right? Te pego una hostia.

    Raul hate that you’re leaving but I understand. I have your jersey and will wear it in the Calderon before we move to la peineta.

    David de gea- idk what to think. The board sold you when you didn’t want to go but bow you are a Madrista!!!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    @ Atletico de Madrid Rtp : ” will never be booed when he returns to the Calderon ” is an understatement, a very big one .
    He will be applauded, very strongly, and his name will be sung, just like what happened with Torres both in the Calderon and the Bridge in our 1/2 final tie vs Chelsea .

    And Sebastian : there is not a single Atleti fan who will condemn his move, you are wrong here, they are sad about it, but absolutely no condemning or bad feelings .
    And you don’t need to hope that he will get the farewell he deserves and a warm welcome when he comes to visit, there is no a slightest doubt about that .

    Guys, this is a backward step for Raul, on sport-level at least, since we don’t know the financial details.
    He didn’t want to be a burden on the team, he knew very well that the club will never ask him to leave, but he also knew that his position is over crowded and his minutes that were already few will be more fewer.
    He could have stayed and fought, like he always does, but maybe he won’t get an offer from Athletic in the next season or two, could be from small clubs like Rayo or Getafe, or from Qatar or UAE, he studied his options and realized that this is the right move and the right time .
    A perfect fit, I think playing for Athletic is a kind of a dream for every Basque player, and they are a team who only takes basque players, and he will be closer to his family in Pamplona .
    Or at least this is what I’m trying to convince myself of to feel less sad .

    But I’m very sure of this : if Athletic were like what they used to be 30 years ago, fighting for La Liga and the Cup and wining the double, Raul would never have made that move .
    So, please, stop asking people to “forgive him” for going to a “direct rival” and to give him the appreciation he deserves .
    Would you have asked the same for Aragones or Adelardo or Collar ?! .. well, Rual is no less than them .

    The fact that I had to say this hurts me so much, although I know you only meant well .