<
>

Cristiano Ronaldo breaks Raul's Real Madrid scoring record

Cristiano Ronaldo became the leading scorer in Real Madrid history after finding the net in a 3-0 win against Levante on Saturday.

Ronaldo, 30, has scored 12 goals in his past nine games for Real Madrid and overtook club legend Raul, who had netted 323 in 741 games with the team.

In the 27th minute, Ronaldo set up Marcelo's goal, then scored his own three minutes later with a well-placed right-footed shot from just outside the area.

"What Ronaldo does you cannot name. It is on another historic level," Raul told Marca last week. "It is incredible what he has done in only six years, scoring an average of more than 50 goals a season, when it used to be hard for me to reach 20. I hope he keeps scoring many more goals for a long time and helps the team to win titles."

Ronaldo levelled Raul with a brace against Malmo that extended his lead as the record scorer in the Champions League with 82 (67 for Madrid, 15 for Manchester United).

The Portuguese, who joined the club in 2009 for a then-world-record fee of £80 million, also bagged his 500th goal and now has 502 for club and country in 756 games.

Ronaldo has netted his 324 goals from just 310 matches, and his current tally of 231 in 208 La Liga games puts him three away from third-placed Hugo Sanchez (234 in 347 games) in the all-time domestic scoring list and also behind Telmo Zarra (251 in 277 games) and Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, who tops the charts with 289 in 320 games.

Upon Ronaldo's levelling the record, Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez said: "I hope he doesn't have a ceiling. I said it was unquestionable. The merit is that it took less time than the others, and this gives more value to the achievement."

Real Madrid believe Ronaldo has already broken the record, as a controversial Pepe goal against Real Sociedad in September 2010 was not given to him.

Pepe told Marca at the time: "Regardless of what the official match report says, the goal belongs to Cristiano. The ball hit me and then went in, but the credit should go to the player who took the free kick.

"When we are talking about that goal, I absolutely do not have a problem in awarding it to him. The ball went in and he deserves the credit for it."