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  -   NEWS
Tuesday, September 3, 2002
Raul delighted to equal record

MADRID, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Spain captain Raul said he was honoured to join Fernando Hierro at the head of the all-time list of leading goalscorers after notching his 29th goal in Saturday's 2-0 European Championship qualifier win over Greece.

In characteristic fashion, the 25-year-old striker made the most of a lapse of concentration in the Greek defence to latch on to a neat pass from Juan Carlos Valeron and grab his side's first goal with a fine right foot strike after just seven minutes.

It was the Raul's 29th goal in 56 games and with Real Madrid team mate Hierro now retired from international football it is only a matter of time before the Real forward takes over on his own at the top of the scoring charts.

'It is a real privilege to play for the national team and also to draw level with Hierro as the all-time leading scorer,' Raul told Spanish television after the match.

'But I am even happier about the way the team played because I think we passed a very tough test with flying colours.

'We needed to start our campaign with a win and playing Greece away will also probably one of our most difficult matches in qualification.'

Spain produced a controlled and authoritative performance against Greece and although the home side had more of the game in the second half Valeron made sure of the win with a well-taken goal 14 minutes from time.

'In the second half they pushed hard, but just when they were getting the better of the game we scored our second to make sure of the three points,' said Raul.

With group six rivals Ukraine and Armenia drawing 2-2, Spain now lead the table by two points. Their next match is at home to Northern Ireland on October 12.

 

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