Athletic Bilbao’s Raul Garcia has overtaken Real Madrid legend Raul Gonzalez (550) to move up to third on the La Liga list of appearances.
Garcia increased the number of Real Madrid’s iconic top flights with a start against Valencia before adding two more caps to his name in subsequent games against Granada and Boyhood club CA Osasuna.
Garcia began his career at Osasuna and played most of his senior football for Atletico Madrid before joining the Basque Giants.
The Pamplona-born player began his career with home town club Osasuna under the tutelage of Javier Aguirre, which he followed years later at Atletico Madrid.
Former Spain and Osasu player Petxi Punal, who saw Garcia come down from the ranks at Los Rosillos, recalls his impression of the Basque country boy.
“I can’t tell you the year we met; I was playing for many years when Raul appeared on the scene. “, Punal begins.
“He was already playing like the player he is today. He really showed his quality at a young age, “recalls the midfielder.
Punal was convinced that even when the player started his own business for a little boy Osasuna, Garcia would go on to achieve grand things.
“With some players, it’s hard to see how they will come out, but not with Raul. Ever since he was a child it was clear that he would move on to great things.
Garcia, who turned 36 in July this year, still has the potential to continue for another two years, Punal thinks.
“Even at this stage of his career, he has enough in the tank to walk a few more years. I think Ra રાl can play football as long as he wants.
The diligent player showed a clear glimpse of his qualities and qualities from a very young age. And Punal feels that Garcia is not finished yet.
“Ra રાl has always been a hard worker and focused on his goals. He didn’t just come to make friends. He came to train hard, “recalls Punal.
“He wanted to be a professional, and he was a good professional. And he achieved that. Raલl will continue to play as long as he wants.
In Pamplo’s original Spanish top-flight, only legendary goalkeeper Andoni Zubizareta and Real Betis icon Joaquin are in third place.