Raul, Xabi Alonso among Spain legends studying for coaching badges

Real Madrid legend Raul has joined several other fellow former Spain internationals in taking the first steps towards a coaching career.

Raul, who retired in 2015 following a 20-year playing career, started a coaching course in Madrid given by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to acquire UEFA's A and B coaching licenses.

The 40-year-old was accompanied on the first day by former Madrid teammates Julio Cesar Baptista and Xabi Alonso, who retired last summer.

Xavi Hernandez, who is playing for Al-Sadd, missed the opening day of the course, but the former Barcelona captain is expected to attend on Tuesday.

Former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes and ex-Villarreal pair Joan Capdevila and Marcos Senna were also among the star-studded list of students.

According to the RFEF, the players will be taught sporting ethics, club management, technology, social media, nutrition and didactical philosophy over six weeks of classes.

Raul, who won La Liga six times, the Champions League three times and the Spanish Super Cups six times in his 16 years at Madrid before spells with Schalke, Al-Sadd and the New York Cosmos, told the RFEF he's excited to finally be able to take the course.

"This is a new challenge for me and for my future," he said. "It's great to meet again with many colleagues from my profession. We are all excited about the course."

Raul, who scored 44 goals in 102 appearances for Spain, will need to complete work experience plus take a further course if he is to follow in the footsteps of former Madrid teammate Zinedine Zidane and coach professionally.

"This is the first step and will allow us to train and coach at least at youth level," Raul, who holds an executive position at Real Madrid, told Marca. "In one year, we will be able to do the UEFA pro [course], which allows us to train any team.

"Now the important thing is to get the badges and in June to speak with [Madrid]. ... We will have to analyse the possibilities. I'm seeing football from another point of view with the classes."

Former Brazil international Baptista was equally thrilled.

"This is the next step of our careers and it's an important one for what is coming up next," said the 36-year-old, who last played for Orlando City in 2016. "We will be learning everything there is to learn about football in the coming weeks."