Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed he is “happy at Madrid” after overtaking Raul and becoming the club’s all-time top scorer.
The Portual superstar will have an extra spring in his step when he takes on Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon stadium on Sunday after scoring twice at Malmo in his team’s 2-0 victory in the Champions League to edge past former Real skipper Raul.
Ronaldo has 324 goals, one more than Raul, but Ronaldo has managed the feat in just 308 games for the men from the Bernabeu, while it took legend Raul 741 matches.
“I’m very happy and delighted,” Ronaldo told marca.com.
“It’s not something that I planned when I first joined Madrid. I’m not going to lie to you and say that I didn’t want to beat the record.
“I’m happy to have overtaken my friend Raul and the late Alfredo di Stefano. I want to thank all of my team-mates and all the coaches that I’ve had because without them, I would not have been able to achieve this feat.”
The 30-year-old Ronaldo is in his seventh season with Los Blancos and coming off one of his finest ever years, one in which he scored 61 goals in all competitions – his best numbers at Real since his arrival from Manchester United in the summer of 2009.
He netted 48 goals in 35 league games and was the top scorer in La Liga for the third time in his career.
Despite his impressive numbers last season, Real finished the campaign with no trophies.
“I’m happy at Madrid,” Ronaldo said. “I want to win trophies here. I’m a professional and I always try to give my best.
“I want to win things here because I believe this club has the potential to win many titles.”
Real have not won La Liga since the 2011-12 campaign and have seen Atletico and then Barcelona win the Primera Division in the past two seasons, respectively.
Rafa Benitez’s Real were held to a goalless draw against Malaga last weekend and go into Sunday’s game in third place in the standings, two points adrift of league leaders Villarreal.
“The derby is always a difficult game,” Ronaldo said. “It’s always complicated to win at Atletico.
“They are a top team but we are ready for them. I was surprised (Atletico) lost on Wednesday.”
Atleti were beaten 2-1 at home by Benfica in the Champions League.
Real have not beaten Atletico in La Liga since the 2012-13 campaign, and have lost three of their last four league meetings with their capital city rivals.
Diego Simeone’s side lost 1-0 at Villarreal last weekend to drop to fifth, two points adrift of Real, before losing to Benfica.
“Against Benfica, we did all that we could to win,” Atletico captain Gabi told Marca.
“We are in a difficult situation but we need to move on.
“In terms of our play, we are on the right path but need to improve a lot more.”
A lack of potency up front is Atletico’s biggest problem, despite the array of attacking talent they possess.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone could drop Jackson Martinez to the bench with the Colombian forward having scored just one goal in eight games since joining the Rojiblancos from Porto this summer.
“Jackson is struggling to score but we need to help him to improve and to find the back of the net,” Gabi said.
Antoine Griezmann is set to lead Atletico’s attack alongside Fernando Torres.
Real captain Sergio Ramos and winger Gareth Bale are expected to return to action this weekend after shaking off their respective injuries while James Rodriguez is still out with a thigh problem.
Atletico midfielder Koke is fighting against the clock to recover from a thigh injury sustained last month.