The power of passion

Raul in interview: on instinct, talent and enthusiasm.

Raúl, the first question that has to be put to one of the most successful goalscorers in football history is, inevitably: is scoring goals a skill that can be learned? Or is it a God-given talent?

Hmm… I‘d say it‘s primarily a matter of instinct. Either you‘ve got it, or you haven‘t.
Even as a kid I had a natural ability to be in the right place at the right time.
I always had a sixth sense for where the ball was going to end up after a parry by the goalie
or a block by a defender. But instinct alone isn‘t enough: you have to develop that talent,
to work on it if you want to become a prolific striker.

“I was never the fastest, never the best at headers,
the best dribbler or the player with the most powerful shot.”

How did you first get into football?

I always wanted to play football, to be part of a team. Every spare minute I had I played football, at school, in the street in the Villaverde district in the south of Madrid, where I grew up. When I was ten my friends took me to a club, San Cristóbal de los Ángeles, the local
club in my district.

Is this instinct recognisable in a player?

Yes. Even at World Cup level you can see which players have this instinct and which don‘t.