Cristiano Ronaldo claimed one more piece of Real Madrid history for himself on Wednesday, as he equalled Raul’s all-time goalscoring record for the club.
The Portuguese powerhouse helped himself to a double in Real’s 2-0 win over Malmo in the UEFA Champions League and etched his name further into Los Blancos folklore.
After netting five goals in La Liga against Espanyol and posting a Champions League hat-trick against Shakhtar Donetsk earlier in September, Ronaldo was eager to make short work of Malmo’s shortcomings on defence.
While Ronaldo may not yet be Real’s outright top goalscorer, he has managed to match Raul’s record in a substantially shorter time than the former Spanish great.
Ronaldo’s opener on Wednesday came after Mateo Kovacic and Isco combined before the latter found his Portuguese team-mate unmarked. He proceeded to power home with no interruption.
And just as it looked as though he’d have to wait another day before tying Raul’s illustrious record, he proceeded to nip in at Johan Wiland’s front post for a second in the 90th minute.
Against Espanyol, Ronaldo smashed Raul’s league-goal haul of 228, according to MailOnline’s Pete Jenson, and the records continue to fall.
Just as he did in that game, 30-year-old Ronaldo was often found surging ahead of Karim Benzema through the middle on Wednesday, and he reaped the rewards. It’s a long-overdue tactical tweak introduced by new Madrid boss Rafa Benitez this season.
That’s where Raul often played for Los Blancos, usually in partnership with another striker, but the Spaniard was never as prolific as his record-sharer.
It took Raul 741 games over a 16-year spell with Real to reach the 323-goal total, whereas Ronaldo has taken six years and just 308 matches.
While we’ve grown accustomed to seeing Ronaldo score from the most impossible angles and devastating distances, Wednesday’s brace was a reminder of just how delicate and precise he can be when called upon.
The mercurial attacker has now cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players ever to dominate for Europe’s most successful club, but the sky remains the limit.
Should Ronaldo continue to find the back of the net at his astounding rate, then he could well prove untouchable at the top of Real’s scoring charts for generations.