Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid striker becomes club’s leading scorer

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Cristiano Ronaldo officially becomes the leading scorer in Real Madrid's history

Portuguese striker scores in club's 3-0 win over Levante

CNN  — 

Cristiano Ronaldo officially became the leading goalscorer in Real Madrid history by firing home in Saturday’s comfortable victory over Levante at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The 30-year-old scored with a typically precise low shot from the edge of the area on 30 minutes to put Los Blancos two goals up on its way to a 3-0 victory.

Real Madrid already considered Ronaldo its record scorer – and held a ceremony at the beginning of October to bestow him with the honor– as it credited him with a deflected goal in 2010 that official UEFA statistics recorded as a goal for his teammate Pepe.

After Saturday’s strike, however, there can now be no dispute on the matter of Real’s outright leading marksman.

Ronaldo has scored 324 goals in just 309 games – a feat all the more remarkable given the club’s previous leading scorer, Raul, took 431 more games to reach his tally of 323 Real Madrid goals.

The Portuguese took to the pitch before the game displaying the golden shoe he earned last year as Europe’s top goalscorer, the fourth time he has received that accolade.

And his achievement in overtaking Raul’s record was all the more potent given the 38-year-old former Spain striker announced earlier in the week that he will retire after a brief stint at the New York Cosmos.

Madrid fans also unveiled a banner prior to the match giving thanks to their one-time hero Raul.

As well as recording a historic moment, Saturday’s win marks a welcome return to form for Rafael Benitez’s side which was forced to call up numerous youth team players given a spate of injuries to first team stars such as Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos.

It’s previous two La Liga matches, against Malaga and Atletico Madrid had ended in draws and left it trailing early season league leader Villarreal atop the table.

“We had a bit of a handicap and to win 3-0 with some very good phases of the game for me is very positive,” said the former Liverpool and Valencia manager Benitez.

The result sees Madrid return to top spot, temporarily at least, with Villarreal not in action until it faces third placed Celta Vigo on Sunday.