Real's Raúl, Casillas say "I do" to Valentine's lifelong contracts
If there was ever a day ripe for commitment metaphors, Real Madrid president Ramón Calderón exploited it to the maximum on Valentine's Day.15 February 2008
MADRID - If there was ever a day ripe for commitment metaphors, Real Madrid president Ramón Calderón exploited it to the maximum on Valentine's Day when he announced that the team's captains Raúl González and Iker Casillas had signed contract extensions that will keep them at the club for the rest of their playing careers.
"Today we will celebrate, on this day of love, that Iker, Raúl and Real Madrid love each other, need each other, complement each other, and because of this, have decided to be united for life," the president said yesterday.
Without revealing the economic details of the contracts - "the good example that these two have been for youngsters and the hope they have instilled in our fans is not economically quantifiable" - Calderón said that in the case of striker Raúl, aged 30, his present deal that was to end in 2009-2010 has been extended by a year, and, following the 2010-2011 season, will be automatically renewed on a yearly basis each season that the striker plays in more than 30 games.
For 26-year-old goalkeeper Casillas, his former contract that was to end in 2010-2011 has been extended to 2016-2017, and also included a corresponding automatic renewal clause.
Reaffirming his commitment to the only Liga team he has played for, Raúl said: "Today is a very happy day for me, and I am thrilled because the team is showing that it values me with this new contract that was cobbled together in just five minutes."
The proud club president replied: "I want to express the happiness of the board of directors, of which I preside, who believe that this was obligatory, necessary and beautiful for the club."
[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]
Subject: Spanish news