The Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez has heaped praise on Portuguese international Cristiano Ronaldo following his emphatic display in his team 6-0 victory over Espanyol on Saturday, September 12.
Ronaldo had failed to score this season before Saturday’s trip to Espanyol, but he struck five times at Cornella-El Prat as Madrid recorded a 6-0 win.
Speaking to newsmen on Monday, September 14, Benitez said: “He (Ronaldo) is one of the best [I’ve ever coached], but I can’t say if he is the best because I have coached some very good players.
“Right now, though, he is the best player in the world.”
Reacting after his heroics, Cristiano Ronaldo told teammates “these five goals are yours too.”
Ronaldo’s five-goal haul helped him pass Los Blancos legends Alfredo Di Stefano (227) and Raul Gonzalez (228) to become the club’s all-time leading goal scorer in La Liga with 231.
Ronaldo’s heroics also took him level with Lionel Messi’s record of 32 hat-tricks and means he is now on 318 goals in all competitions for Madrid, just five behind Raúl’s club best 323.
The Portuguese also moved into fourth on the list of the leading scorers in Liga history. The only players ahead of him now are Messi (285), Telmo Zarra (251) and Hugo Sánchez (234).