Raul sets retirement date

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The Independent Football

Raul believes he has 'two or three years' left at the top after equalling Alfredo Di Stefano's all-time Real Madrid goalscoring record.

The 31-year-old captain equalled the club legend's 307-goal haul during Saturday's 2-0 win over Numancia before admitting he wants to end his career on a high.

"Yes, every game it comes closer, but I still have two or three years left at the top level. Then I will look ahead," he said.

"I have two years left on my contract and after that I will look at the future.

"The main thing is to try to go out at the top and that is difficult, because we all think we can continue our form and it is difficult to accept a retirement."

Coach Javier Aguirre claims he has left Atletico Madrid with his head held high despite being sacked.

The Mexican was dismissed on Monday following a run of seven games without a victory.

"I am leaving with a clear conscience, even though I did not complete my work until the end," said the coach who guided the club to a fourth placed finish in La Liga and Champions League qualification for the first time last season.

"It has made me proud to be part of Atletico Madrid, a great club in size and in history. We are talking about one of the 12 to 15 biggest clubs in the world.

"It always hurts when there is a break-up, although it is not traumatic.

"We all want Atletico to fulfil their objectives and be great. I thank all the employees at the club, I've never had a problem with anybody.

"I want to thank publicly my players and my backroom staff. It's a club that I carry in my heart and who helped me grow."