Ron insists his future is with Real

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating the opening goal – his 500th career strike – against Malmo during their Champions League Group A match.
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating the opening goal – his 500th career strike – against Malmo during their Champions League Group A match. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

After equalling club's all-time scoring record, Portuguese superstar quashes exit rumours

MADRID • Cristiano Ronaldo immediately turned his thoughts to Sunday's Spanish Primera Liga derby at Atletico Madrid after his Champions League double drew him level with Raul as Real Madrid's all-time leading marksman on 323 goals.

Ronaldo, who scored twice in the 2-0 Group A success at Malmo, needed just 308 matches across seven seasons to equal Raul's tally - which was amassed in 741 games over 16 years - and can break the record in the clash at the Calderon.

The Portugal captain, who took his career total for club and country to 501 on Wednesday, told reporters Raul had sent him a congratulatory message urging him to "score 300 more".

He then reacted tetchily to questions about why he has largely refused to talk to the media in recent months and quashed suggestions he might leave Real in the short term, possibly to return to former club Manchester United.

  • CRISTIANO RONALDO'S 501 GOALS: THE BREAKDOWN

  • The haul comes from appearances with four teams - Real Madrid, Manchester United, Sporting Lisbon and Portugal.

    37 Number of hat-tricks for club and country.

    45 Free-kick goals.

    69 The most goals he has scored in a single season (2011-12).

    81 Goals from the penalty spot.

    82 Goals scored in the Champions League - making him the competition's all-time leading scorer.

    83 Headed goals.

    90 Goals scored with left foot.

    326 Goals scored with his right foot.

"My future is at Madrid," the 30-year-old said. "I want to win things here and I feel good.

"But as I have said a million times, nobody knows the future.

"We will see what happens."

Real were knocked off top spot in La Liga after they were held by Malaga to a 0-0 draw at home last weekend. They are third on 14 points, level with Celta Vigo and two ahead of Atletico.

Villarreal, who play at Levante on Sunday, are the surprise leaders on 16 points, one ahead of second-placed champions Barcelona, who play at Europa League holders Sevilla tomorrow.

"It's going to be tough," Ronaldo said of the game at the Calderon, where Real were thumped 0-4 by their city rivals in La Liga last term.

"Atletico are playing very well and are full of confidence."

Atletico, however, were beaten 1-2 at home by Benfica in the Champions League Group C match on Wednesday.

Their striker Jackson Martinez, who joined from Porto in the close season, drew another blank and still has just one goal this term.

"It's frustrating because you feel the support of the fans, your team-mates and the staff and you want to give your all so that things go well," he told Spanish television.

Martinez was the top scorer in each of his three seasons with Portuguese side Porto.

"Things are not going as well as I would like but I will keep working so that in the next game, the derby, I can improve."

Atletico coach Diego Simeone did not appear too concerned by Wednesday's defeat. It left the 2014 runners-up in second place in the group on three points from two matches, with Benfica leading with a maximum six.

"Right now, it's understandable that the team are unhappy with the defeat they suffered," he said. "We have to face a very important game (on Sunday). I don't think there will be any need to motivate the players for a match like this one."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2015, with the headline 'Ron insists his future is with Real'. Print Edition | Subscribe