Real Madrid honors Ronaldo for setting scoring record
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 03, 2015 01:23 PM
Real Madridís striker Cristiano Ronaldo kisses a silver boot award for scoring the most goals for the club during a ceremony at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Friday Oct. 2, 2015. Real Madrid paid tribute to Ronaldo, who recently overtook Raul Gonzalez to become the club's all-time highest goalscorer with a tally of 324 goals. (AP Photo/Paul White)
TALES AZZONI, AP Sports Writer
MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid held a special ceremony to honor Cristiano Ronaldo on Friday after he became the club's all-time leading scorer.
The club presented Ronaldo with a custom-made trophy in a ceremony attended by his family and teammates at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
After a long video showing Ronaldo's official presentation in 2009 and many of his greatest feats and important goals, including some against rival Barcelona, club president Florentino Perez gave a speech praising the Portugal forward.
"It's a very emotional day for all Real Madrid fans," Perez said. "One of our own has achieved something that was considered almost impossible to achieve. Only through his talent, his hard work and his determination was this possible."
Ronaldo scored his 323rd and 324th goals Wednesday in Madrid's 2-0 win over Malmo in a Champions League game in Sweden, matching and surpassing the mark previously held by Raul Gonzalez.
Ronaldo also surpassed the 500 mark for career goals in the game against Malmo, reaching 501.
"To me it's an honor to receive this award. I didn't expect it," Ronaldo said. "When I wore Real Madrid's jersey for the first time I never imagined that one day I would become the club's greatest scorer, surpassing my friend Raul and the late (Alfredo) Di Stefano. I'm very happy."
Ronaldo needed 308 games to reach his mark, while Raul did it in 741 matches from 1994 through 2010.
Ronaldo is also the all-time scoring leader in the Champions League with 82 goals, five more than the injured Lionel Messi.
Several of Ronaldo's teammates were present for the ceremony at the Santiago Bernabeu, as well as Madrid coach Rafa Benitez and the player's mother and young son. The 30-year-old Ronaldo posed for photos with all of them after the ceremony.
"First of all, I need to thank my teammates," he said. "Because without their support and their commitment, this achievement would never be possible."
Ronaldo caught the eye of talent scouts while playing for Sporting Lisbon in the early 2000s, earning a transfer to Manchester United as a teenager. The Portuguese forward moved to Real Madrid after nearly six seasons in the Premier League.
"His name already is a legend in Real Madrid," Perez said. "I hope the legend will keep on going."