Perez lauds Ronaldo goal haul

The prolific Portugal forward needs just three more career goals to surpass Raul’s record of 323 strikes for the club

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as he prepares to become the highest goalscorer in the club’s history.

The 30-year-old has scored 321 goals for Madrid, leaving him needing just two more to draw level with Raul’s tally of 323 ahead of Saturday’s Liga meeting with Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in the club’s Champions League victory over Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday, days after finding the back of the net five times in the 6-0 thrashing of Espanyol.

And Perez – who brought Ronaldo to the club from Manchester United for a then world-record €94 million (£80m) fee back in 2008 – believes there is still much more to come from the forward.

He said: “Cristiano Ronaldo is already a legend of Real Madrid and has earned a place in the history among the largest in this club.

“He has already been the top scorer of Real Madrid in the league, and certainly in the coming days will be the top scorer of all time.

“He’s a unique player who is going to continue to give us much happiness.”

Perez also reserved kind words for Iker Casillas – who joined Porto in the summer – and said it was the goalkeeper’s choice to leave rather than the club’s.

“Iker Casillas made the decision to go. He strongly recommend us to accept it and asked us to help. We did it because he deserves it.

“He has been the best goalkeeper in the history of Real Madrid and the Spanish football. His example remains and leads the way for those who dream of being part of this team.”

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