Enthused Raul ready to extend deal
© AFP

Former Real Madrid legend Raul has hinted he could extend his stay with Schalke until 2013 because the Bundesliga club has given him back his enthusiasm for playing football.

Schalke are currently languishing in tenth in the table, a massive 29 points behind league leaders Borussia Dortmund, but have qualified for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League and the German Cup final.

Raul signed a two-year deal with Schalke in July 2010, but he is ready to extend that by another year if the German club come calling.

"I think I've shown in the past eight months that I've come to Schalke to achieve something and not just to bring a peaceful end to my career," the 33-year-old Spaniard told the Suddeustche Zeitung daily. "My contract ends in a year but I would be open to extending it by another year, if the club want me to.

My contract ends in a year but I would be open to extending it by another year, if the club want me to.
Raul, Schalke striker

"I'm enjoying my football again. I wake every morning and get excited about going to training. It's like being a kid again." Raul warned, however: "I will stop playing when this enthusiasm for football goes."

A three-time Champions League winner with nine-time champions Real, Raul is still the top scorer in European club football with a record 71 goals, 69 of which have been scored in the Champions League.

With Schalke continuing to struggle on the domestic front, having sacked their coach Felix Magath last month, Raul admits it's been a strange season so far.

"It's a bit of a strange season," he added. "We're playing badly in the Bundesliga, but we're in the final of the German Cup and the quarter-finals of the Champions League." He added: "Magath stands out from all the coaches I've known in the past, but I've never had cause to complain about him."