Kevin Kuranyi believes his former club Schalke have taken a huge leap forward by signing Raul as his replacement. The Brazil-born striker joined Dinamo Moscow after his contract with Die Königsblauen expired last month, having turned down the opportunity to extend his deal in Gelsenkirchen.
Had he remained, the chances are Schalke would not have signed the former Spain international, and Kuranyi acknowledged the fact that his departure now looks like a godsend to the Bundesliga club. "He is a living football legend and, despite being 33, he is a better striker than me," the 28-year-old told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
"You have got to face the facts. Raul has won the Spanish title and Champions League several times, and I have got to recognise that. And strikers usually hit their peak after around 28, so my best time is yet to come."
Kuranyi is also convinced that Raul will do what he failed to with Schalke in the coming season: fire them to their first-ever Bundesliga title. "Unfortunately, I was unable to reach this goal in five years in Gelsenkirchen," he said. "Definitely [with Raul] the title is possible."
Kuranyi made his official debut for Dinamo in the Russian Premier League yesterday, but could not help them to more than a 1-1 draw with Krylya Sovetov.
Nevertheless, he hopes to illuminate the championship this campaign and convince Germany coach Joachim Low to give him a second chance with the national team.
"I am not giving up and I want to get back into this team," he said. "I know that I will probably have to give a little more than my rivals, but I want to do it. I will perform so that my goals will recommend me for a place in the national team."