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Real Madrid great Raul won't rule out shock Barcelona move

Real Madrid great Raul has risked incurring the wrath of the fans by suggesting he would consider taking a job at arch-rivals Barcelona.

The 39-year-old, who won six LaLiga titles and three Champions Leagues in a glittering career at the Santiago Bernabeu, has regularly expressed a desire to return to the club in a non-playing capacity.

But the former Spain star, who has been accused by some Madrid fans of casting Barca in a favourable light in his media appearances, has said that he would not rule out the prospect of working at Camp Nou in future.

"I like to do things step by step," he said in a rare interview with Catalan daily Sport when asked about moving to Barca. "The first thing is to return to my house, Real Madrid, when the time is right.

"But that's football, and you can never say that you won't do this or that."

When questioned on his attempts not to show anti-Barca bias in the media, he explained: "I spent 17 years at Real Madrid and nobody can doubt that I'm a madridista. My conscience is clear.

"It's a different thing when I talk about and analyse football, as I've done for Barcelona for a few years. It's fair to acknowledge when they have done well.

"The last few years show that Barcelona have had more consistency than Real Madrid, if you look at LaLiga. If you look at Europe, you see that the difference is not so big."

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Although Raul is unlikely to become a shock contender to succeed Luis Enrique this year, he does understand the Barca coach's decision to step down at the end of his third season in charge.

"I understand Luis Enrique perfectly," he said. "I was at Madrid for 17 years and, save for Vicente del Bosque and Jose Mourinho, I never saw any coaches stay for many years.

"He's done a great job at Barcelona and I truly understand that he needs a break."

Raul was also asked for a definitive answer in the debate over whether Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo should be considered the greatest player in the world.

The ex-New York Cosmos man, who has previously described the duo as "simply the greatest", says there is little to separate them.

"They are two unique players and I really think they are on the same level," he said. "I don't like comparing them according to their trophies. They would be safely among the top five in my ranking.

"I'd be much further back, without a doubt!"