Raúl Fernández-Cavada Mateos | Goalkeeper | Real Valladolid
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Raúl Fernández-Cavada Mateos has been formed by one of the most prestigious academies of goalkeepers in the world. He was recruited to Lezama in 1998 at the age of 10, as part of all lower categories of Athletic Club Bilbao. In the season 2006/07 he played 29 games for CD Baskonia, third Division. In 2007/08 he was the goalkeeper owner of Athletic Bilbao in second division B.
He played some preseason games with the first Athletic team, but technicians decided that he lacked experience and needed to develop outside the Athletic both physically and mentally. In this way he was loaned one season to the Conquense 2ªB, where he achieved good performance and established himself as the goalkeeper owner of this team.
On his return to Bilbao, and given the good results of his first assignment, technicians decided to return to loan the player so as to continue developing outside the Athletic and grasp the point needed to be able to take part in the first team someday. Thus, during the season 2009/10 he played loan at Granada CF in 2ªB. This team was established as a starter and he won promotion to second division A, as he did a great performance and received great praise by the Granada fans, who even asked him to continue another year with them. That season in the Granada meant a significant leap in his training and the Athletic technicians decided to incorporate him definitely to the first team, in principle as a substitute goalkeeper.
In the season 2010/11 he played several friendly matches, including the one against Celtic in Glasgow and the official debut in the first team against Real Sociedad, with a remarkable performance. During the season 2011/12 he has first played in the Europa League in the Parc des Princes, leaving interesting details for his short but promising career as a goalkeeper.
In the season 2012/13 Raúl got his first opportunity to defend Athletic´s goal in Copa del Rey but Eibar won the double match cross over due to the double value of goals away from home. Later he summed up some matches in Europa League although with no chance of going ahead in the competition and he was even the alternative to the occupant in two matches, when the Athletic was going through a bad moment.
Next season, Raúl was feeling like playing with more assiduity, that was the reason he moved to Numancia as a loan for 2013/14. He began playing as the Copa del Rey goalkeeper but they were defeated in Jaén in a one way match. Then he recovered the chance of playing in 8th League journey after a period the team was encasing too many goals. After playing 9 matches the team was rising in the classification but Raúl was injured in one side while he was training and he was not completely recovered until the last month of competition when he was able to play again the last two matches.
In the season 2014/15, since he hadn´t been successful to reach Athletic´s goalkeeper ownership he and Athletic both decided to end with the one year contract they had still together. Raúl then signed for Racing de Santander, which has just raised to Liga Adelante division, and his challenge now consists of contributing to recover the best performing for this historic team.
One of the greatest virtues of Raúl is his reflexes as he is remarkable for his speed and coordination, despite being 1.96 meters tall. That’s why he has been often compared with David of Gea (Man U). Other qualities are also his maturity and serenity that he shows as he can very well read the game, anticipating the movements of the rival strikers and provoking counterattacks when the situation permits. He's a huge professional, tireless at work and with continuous improvement as a goal.