Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez wants Cristiano Ronaldo to “increase his legend” at the club “for many more years” after he was honoured at the Santiago Bernabeu this week.
Ronaldo moved beyond 500 career goals for club and country as he scored twice in the Champions League win over Malmo, taking him level with Madrid’s record goalscorer Raul on 323, according to official UEFA statistics.
Madrid, however, credit Ronaldo with a goal against Real Sociedad in 2010 which was officially awarded to Pepe, and the Portugal captain was given a special presentation in the Spanish capital on Friday to mark the milestone.
Ronaldo admitted after the Malmo victory that he cannot guarantee he will stay at the club in the future but Benitez is eager to see him add to his goal tally.
“The numbers are there. I hope he continues to score plenty of goals and that we enjoy him for many more years,” he said.
“That CR7 is in Madrid history is something very important, but I hope his legend increases.”
Benitez’s side take on city rivals Atletico Madrid on Sunday and the former Napoli boss is expecting a game of high intensity.
“It will be a game of character and passion most of all. They will be organised, with intensity and players of real quality,” he said.
“We know it’ll be very difficult. We have to respond with character and personality and try to play our football.
“We don’t have a fixed rule against Atletico. We face the game with the idea of winning but there are a lot of ways to get the result. “
Benitez has also highlighted the form of midfield duo Toni Kroos and Mateo Kovacic, adding: “Talking about Kroos and Kovacic is very positive for the team because it means they are doing well.”