Real Madrid legend Raúl González can now take charge of the club’s reserve side, Castilla, after being awarded his UEFA Pro Licence on Friday, which provides coaches with the necessary authorization from the European governing body to manage sides from Tercera División up to the Spanish top flight.
Raúl on the Zidane fast-track to the Real Madrid senior job
Raúl will follow in the footsteps of Zinedine Zidane – who famously took over at Castilla without the requisite badges – and Santiago Solari, who made the step up to the senior side when Zidane’s replacement, Julen Lopetegui, was sacked last October.
Among other former players receiving their Pro Licences on Friday were former Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso – who recently announced he would be leaving his role as a youth team coach at the Bernabéu to re-join boyhood club Real Sociedad, former Barcelona midfield maestro Xavi, who will take charge of Al Sadd after hanging up his boots at the end of the season, Víctor Valdés, Joan Capdevila, Lodovic Giuly, Esteban Cambiasso and Luis García.
Raúl will take over Castilla in Segunda B after the side failed to obtain promotion through the playoffs under Manolo Díaz, who replaced Solari when the Argentinean took over from Lopetegui. Díaz’s side lost their playoff first-round tie against Cartagena 3-3 on away goals and the coach, who will make way for Raúl, will return to the post he held before relieving Solari as chief of the Real Madrid academy.