SPANISH FOOTBALL LEGEND RAÚL NAMED NEWEST LAUREUS AMBASSADOR

  • Real Madrid and Spain star Raúl says: ‘It is a privilege for me and also a responsibility to be a Laureus Ambassador; I feel a great commitment to help get a better world and I will put all my effort into achieving that’

  • Laureus Academy Member and World Cup winner Marcel Desailly welcomes Raúl to the Laureus Family: ‘He was a phenomenon as a player, one of the truly great goalscorers in the history of the game’

MADRID, November 18, 2014 – Spanish legend Raúl González Blanco, universally known as Raúl, one of the greatest goalscorers in the history of football, has been named the newest Laureus Ambassador.

Raúl played 741 times for Real Madrid, scoring a record 323 goals, and played in teams which won six La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues. For Spain he played in three FIFA World Cups, in 1998, 2002 and 2006, and in the 2002 and 2004 European Championships. He has been captain of both teams.

Raúl, who now plays for New York Cosmos, said: “It is a privilege for me and also a responsibility to be a part of the Laureus Ambassadors team.  It is a pleasure to have the opportunity of giving back everything that sport has given to me, thanks to this organisation that is involved in more than 150 social projects. I feel a great commitment to help get a better world and I will put all my effort into achieving that. It is an honour to be part of the Laureus Family.

Throughout his professional career he always gave maximum effort whenever he played and was never shown a red card. He is a role model for countless young footballers around the world. His sportsmanship, his personal values and his passion for sport are among the reasons why he has been named a Laureus Ambassador.

Laureus World Sports Academy Member and French World Cup winner Marcel Desailly said: “I am delighted that Raúl is now a Laureus Ambassador. He was a phenomenon as a player, one of the truly great goalscorers in the history of the game. I played against him many times for my clubs and my country and always found him a very talented, but very fair opponent. In a professional career lasting almost 20 years, he was never sent off. That is an amazing tribute to his sense of fairplay and honour. I look forward to working with him for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.”

Gabriel Masfurroll, President of the Laureus Foundation in Spain, said: “It is an honour to be able to have Raúl as an Ambassador of the Foundation. He is a legend of our football and a sportsman and person of impeccable credentials. I feel very happy to have Raúl as a member of the Laureus Family.”

After 16 years at Real Madrid, in 2010 Raúl moved to German club Schalke 04, for whom he played 66 times and scored 28 goals. In February 2012, he scored the 400thgoal of his career and at the end of that season moved to the Middle East to play for Qatar club Al Sadd. On March 5, 2014, Raúl announced he would retire from professional football at the end of the Qatari football season, marking the end of a 20-year senior career. However, in October 2014, he was persuaded to return to the game and signed a contract with New York Cosmos, for whom he still plays.

Raúl joins an impressive list of current and former sportsmen and women around the world who support and promote the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Ambassadors volunteer their time to work for the Laureus Foundation, whose mission is to use sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today such as juvenile crime, gangs, HIV/AIDS, discrimination, social exclusion, lack of education, landmines awareness and health problems such as obesity.

Since its inception Laureus has raised over €60 million to improve the lives of millions of young people and currently supports more than 150 community sports projects in 34 countries.

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Laureus is a universal movement that celebrates the power of sport to bring people together as a force for good. Laureus is composed of three core elements - the Laureus World Sports Academy, Laureus Sport for Good and the Laureus World Sports Awards - which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and use sport as the means to promote social change. The first Patron of Laureus was Nelson Mandela. At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, he said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.” This has become the philosophy of Laureus; the driving force behind its work. The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy are: Giacomo Agostini, Marcus Allen, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Ian Botham, Sergey Bubka, Cafu, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Nadia Comaneci, Yaping Deng, Marcel Desailly, Kapil Dev, Mick Doohan, David Douillet, Rahul Dravid, Luis Figo, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick (Chairman), Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Mika Häkkinen, Tony Hawk, Maria Höfl-Riesch, Mike Horn, Miguel Indurain, Michael Johnson, Kip Keino, Franz Klammer, Tegla Loroupe, Dan Marino, Yao Ming, Edwin Moses, Nawal El Moutawakel, Li Na, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova, Alexey Nemov, Jack Nicklaus, Brian O’Driscoll, Alessandro Del Piero, Gary Player, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Carles Puyol, Raúl, Steve Redgrave, Vivian Richards, Monica Seles, Mark Spitz, Sachin Tendulkar, Daley Thompson, Alberto Tomba, Steve Waugh, Katarina Witt, Li Xiaopeng and Yang Yang. The Laureus Academy Members volunteer their services as global ambassadors for Laureus Sport for Good, which was set up to promote the use of sport as a tool for social change. Laureus Sport for Good addresses social challenges through a worldwide programme of sports related community development initiatives. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €100 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of millions of young people. The mission of Laureus Sport for Good is to use sport as a means to combat some of the toughest social challenges facing young people today such as violence and crime, discrimination, unemployment, lack of education and health threats including HIV/AIDS and obesity. The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sports awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year. The winners are selected by the ultimate sports jury – 60 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today. The Awards are presented at an annual Awards Ceremony, attended by global figures from sport and entertainment, which is broadcast to 160 countries and territories. The Awards continue to support Laureus Sport for Good by showcasing the incredible work it does with athletes and partners to transform the lives of individuals and promoting to a global audience the power of sport as a development tool to combat challenging social issues. Laureus was founded by its Patrons Richemont and Daimler and is supported by its Global Partners Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen. Mercedes-BenzMercedes-Benz is the inventor of the automobile – and has been passionately shaping its future since 1886. As pioneers in automotive engineering, it is both our inspiration and responsibility to continue the tradition of the brand with trailblazing technologies and high-quality products. Like no other trademark in the automotive world, Mercedes-Benz appeals to both the hearts and minds of its customers. We give our very best for customers who expect the very best. Since the founding fathers Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, our corporate history has been one of innovation and pioneering achievements. Many technical innovations that are nowadays standard in automobiles first entered the market in a Mercedes-Benz. This is the basis for our claim to leadership in automotive engineering. The brand stands for Modern Luxury, and enjoys an outstanding reputation for quality, safety, comfort, design and comprehensive, sustainable mobility. IWC SchaffhausenWith a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design. As an ecologically and socially responsible company, IWC is committed to sustainable production, supports institutions around the globe in their work with children and young people and maintains partnerships with organisations dedicated to climate and environmental protection.

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It is a privilege for me and also a responsibility to be a part of the Laureus Ambassadors team. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity of giving back everything that sport has given to me, thanks to this organisation that is involved in more than 150 social projects. I feel a great commitment to help get a better world and I will put all my effort into achieving that. It is an honour to be part of the Laureus Family.
Raúl González
I am delighted that Raúl is now a Laureus Ambassador. He was a phenomenon as a player, one of the truly great goalscorers in the history of the game. I played against him many times for my clubs and my country and always found him a very talented, but very fair opponent. In a professional career lasting almost 20 years, he was never sent off. That is an amazing tribute to his sense of fairplay and honour. I look forward to working with him for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation
Marcel Desailly
It is an honour to be able to have Raúl as an Ambassador of the Foundation. He is a legend of our football and a sportsman and person of impeccable credentials. I feel very happy to have Raúl as a member of the Laureus Family.
Gabriel Masfurroll