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Raul to leave Schalke, Europe after season

Schalke striker Raul said Thursday he will leave the German side at the end of the season, and plans to sign with a club outside of Europe.

The 34-year-old former Spanish international spent the majority of his career with Real Madrid, playing for the club from 1992-2010. He won three Champions League titles, and scored 323 goals in 741 competitive games for Real. He has 27 goals in 64 matches for Schalke.

Raul helped Schalke reach the semifinals of the Champions League last season, and has a record 71 goals in the competition during his career.

"After long and careful consideration I have decided not to play for Schalke next season. It took me a very long time to reach this decision and it was a very difficult one for me to take," Raul said.

"I can assure you that I will not be continuing my career (Europe)."

Raul cited "family" as the main reason he will leave European soccer.

"Playing at the top level in a European league really restricted the time I had for my family," Raul said. "I have a long career behind me and so I've decided to change that."

Raul did not disclose where he intends to play in the future, saying "I will now sit down with my agent and take some time to consider the offers."