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Raúl revels in dream Schalke success

Veteran striker Raúl González hailed "a dream result" after his FC Schalke 04 team stunned holders FC Internazionale Milano with a 5-2 quarter-final first-leg victory in Italy.

Raúl revels in dream Schalke success
Raúl revels in dream Schalke success ©UEFA.com

A delighted Raúl González described FC Schalke 04's 5-2 UEFA Champions League victory at FC Internazionale Milano as a "dream result", admitting that "nobody expected us to go to the home of the reigning champions and score five goals".

Schalke's win was a triumph of the spirit as the Bundesliga side twice rallied after falling behind to goals from Dejan Stanković and Diego Milito. Joel Matip and Edu brought the visitors level going into half-time, before Raúl gave them the lead and an Andrea Ranocchia own goal plus Edu's second strike completed an incredible away performance from Ralf Rangnick's men.

"This was a massive step towards the semi-finals," said forward Raúl, whose effort extended his unrivalled tally in the competition to 70 goals. "It was a dream result for us. Nobody honestly expected us to go to the home of the reigning champions and score five goals, but we need to keep our feet on the ground and show Inter respect because they will be looking to turn it around in Germany and we'll have to perform well again to ensure we reach the last four."

Schalke will have to be particularly out of sorts if they are to miss out on a semi-final against either Chelsea FC or Manchester United FC, as Inter need to score at least four goals in Gelsenkirchen next Wednesday to stay alive in the competition.

"Nobody was expecting this result and it just shows that anything can happen, but it was a huge result for us and one we deserved because we were better both technically and physically," added Raúl. "We just need to make sure we play well again so that we can reach the semi-finals for the first time in the club's history."

The German club's current adventure represents a remarkable new episode in the glittering career of the 33-year-old striker, who won the UEFA Champions League three times in his 16-year spell at Real Madrid CF before making the surprise switch to the Bundesliga last summer.

The former Spanish international nonetheless urged caution ahead of the return leg. "We're very happy but we're staying calm and humble because we know we still have a lot to do. We will keep our heads down, keep working hard and hopefully enjoy the fruits of our labour."

Though the modest marksman was loath to discuss his goals record, fellow scorer Edu was quick to laud the impact of the former Merengues captain since his arrival. "Raúl is an incredible player," the forward said. "He scores in training, he scores in matches and he made a crucial contribution tonight, much as he has done all season. He is a player who can, and does, make the difference at this level, time and again."

"His record is amazing," added midfielder José Manuel Jurado, who also caught the eye, hitting the post and delivering the teasing cross that Ranocchia turned past Inter keeper Júlio César. "I'm really pleased for him that he scored. He works very hard at his game and deserves his record."