Cristiano Ronaldo deserves his place in Real Madrid history after becoming their record La Liga scorer, manager Rafael Benitez says.
The Portugal forward’s five goals in a 6-0 win at Espanyol on Saturday took him to 230 Spanish top-flight goals, passing Raul’s record of 228.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” Benitez said of Ronaldo, who has reached his total in 204 matches.
“Someone who scores so many goals has a place in the history books.”
Benitez added: “I hope that he can continue to add to his goalscoring account for his own benefit and that of the team.”
Ronaldo is the fourth-highest scorer in La Liga history – with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi leading the way on 289 goals going into this weekend’s fixtures.
The Real Madrid forward, though, has been the division’s top scorer in each of the last two seasons, finishing the 2014-15 campaign with 48 league goals.
He has averaged 1.13 goals per league game in six years at Real since his £80m transfer from Manchester United.
Pepe, Real Madrid’s Portugal international defender, said after the 30-year-old’s latest starring performance: “Espanyol have a good team but when Cristiano has his day, it’s impossible.” ‘He’s the best in the world.’
It was the second time in 2015 that Ronaldo had scored five goals in a match – he did it when Real beat Granada 9-1 in La Liga on 5 April.
Messi his direct competitor, on the other hand found himself in an odd spot at the start of Saturday’s Atletico Madrid-Barcelona match. Bench, meet Messi.
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique elected to rest his superstar after Messi had participated in Argentina’s 2-2 friendly with Mexico on Tuesday in Arlington, Texas, and celebrated the birth of his second son, Mateo, three days later.
After serving the role of spectator for an hour, with Barcelona locked in a 1-1 draw with Atletico, Messi stepped into his telephone booth, and Superman came out to play the final 30 minutes.
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