This year's Santiago Bernabeu Trophy will be especially sweet for Real Madrid fans, as longtime forward and skipper Raul will return to Madrid with his team, Al Sadd.
While essentially just a friendly—and set smack dab in the middle of the week after Real Madrid's opening win against Betis, 2-1—this game will take on a different air of importance from most friendlies with Raul in the house.
Of course, there will be a game to focus on as well, so let's break down this midseason match.
When: Thursday, August 22 at 4:30 p.m. ET
Where: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
Watch: beIN Sport
Streaming: beIN Sport Play
What They're Saying
Raul, who will be the man of the hour (more on that below) has joined pretty much everyone else in Real Madrid circles by offering his opinion on the Gareth Bale pursuit.
Spoiler alert: He thinks he is overpriced.
[The board] are professional and are working to achieve good things for the team. Mou did well with the team and Carlo Ancelotti is one of the best coaches in the world and he’ll win trophies. [Bale is] a brilliant player and would bring a lot to Madrid, but he’s very expensive. Tottenham have overestimated his price.
It’ll be great to be in Madrid. I hope all the Al Sadd players take advantage of the trip and the match against Real Madrid.
I heard it was a sell-out. Thanks to the Real Madrid fans; I hope it’s a good match and everyone there has a good time, especially because they’ll see me play one half for Al Sadd and one half for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid Player and Al Sadd Player to Watch: Raul
The former Real Madrid captain and current Al Sadd player will play for each team, splitting his allegiances temporarily in this friendly. He'll spend one half with Real Madrid and one half with Al Sadd, an honor for a player who spent 16 seasons for Real Madrid and scored an incredible 228 La Liga goals.
After a brief stay with Schalke, Raul joined Al Sadd in 2012, presumably where he will close out his career. A Real Madrid, La Liga, Champions League and Spanish legend, the forward still has a bit of magic left in his boots and probably will score a goal or two in this one.
It's very cool that he'll play for both sides in this game, and surely all eyes will be following his every move. For Real Madrid fans, it's one more chance to see the beloved former skipper in action.
Real Madrid Wins If...
They play any of their regulars for any period of time.
Raul doesn't put home a few cheeky own goals while donning the Los Blancos shirt.
Al Sadd Wins If...
Raul puts home a few cheeky own goals while donning the Los Blancos shirt.
Let's be honest—they won't.
Whichever team Raul wants to win will probably do just that. I kid, I kid. Obviously, this is just a friendly, but the Real Madrid reserves would be a competitive side around Europe, let alone what their stars would bring to the table against an overmatched Al Sadd side.
Los Blancos will take this one, 4-1.