Real Madrid CF's Cristiano Ronaldo continues to set a startling goalscoring pace with the nine-time European champions since signing from Manchester United FC in 2009. Having surpassed with his double against Getafe CF last weekend Hugo Sánchez's 208 goals for Madrid in all competitions, the 28-year-old has more club greats in his sights as he seeks to become the Merengues' all-time top marksman. UEFA.com sees who the Portugal forward still has to catch.
Raúl González – 323 goals
A reference point for most modern-day Madridistas – or Madrid fans – Raúl's legendary status was underlined when the 36-year-old was hailed on his return to play in last month's Trofeo Santiago Bernabéu. A scorer of 323 goals in 741 official games for the Liga giants – both club records – Raúl became a fixture in the side after registering his first goal against former team Club Atlético de Madrid in October 1994. Conscious that his impressive statistics may be in danger of being eclipsed, the three-time UEFA Champions League winner commented: "Cristiano is the present and future of Real Madrid. He is one of the club's best-ever signings."
Alfredo di Stéfano – 308 goals
Few names resound around the football world more than Alfredo di Stéfano – now Madrid's honorary president following a playing career that yielded eight Spanish titles and five European Cups between 1953 and 1964. The 'Saeta Rubia' (blond arrow) formed part of a colossally successful Madrid side along with Francisco Gento, Ferenc Puskás, Raymond Kopa and José María Zárraga among others – setting the template for the latter-day 'Galácticos'. "We believe [Ronaldo's name] will go on to resonate like that of Di Stéfano's," Madrid president Florentino Pérez said recently, recalling the Buenos Aires-born forward, 87.
Santillana – 290 goals
When Ronaldo leapt high to nod in Madrid's equaliser in last season's UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg against Manchester United, it prompted comparisons with ex-Merengues striker Carlos Alonso González, aka Santillana. Renowned as one of the best headers of the ball the game has seen, Santillana spent 17 years at the Bernabéu, winning nine Ligas and two UEFA Cups while featuring in 643 official matches. "Cristiano is a beast – he has this power and ambition to win and can decide a game with an individual move or a single strike," the erstwhile Spanish international said of his successor as goal machine.
Ferenc Puskás – 242 goals
Madrid supporters initially found it hard to embrace the 'Galloping Major' when he arrived in the capital aged 31 in 1958 – looking slightly overweight. If Puskás took a little time to adapt his new surroundings, he soon exploded into life at the Bernabéu, his goals earning four Pichichi trophies as the Liga's supreme marksman. "If he kicked the ball once, he scored two goals," the former Hungary forward's team-mate Zoltán Czibor famously remarked of Puskás, whose four goals in the 1960 European Cup final triumph against Eintracht Frankfurt – 7-3 – remains one of the sport's stand-out feats.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 211 goals
The one-time Sporting Clube de Portugal prodigy may not boast the plethora of titles won with Madrid by those preceding him in the chart, yet his goalscoring exploits – 211 strikes in 206 games, including 152 in 141 top-flight outings – speak almost as loudly. "Simply put, he's a guarantee in every game," club director Emilio Butragueño, himself a celebrated striker, said of Ronaldo – who recently penned a contract extension until 2018. "We're used to it now but his appetite for scoring can still be surprising, even when the team are winning [comfortably]. It's a treat to have him here."
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