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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

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By ESPN Staff
Feb 16, 2009

Record breaker Raul wants more club success

Raul has insisted he would happily swap personal acclaim for club success after becoming the leading scorer in Real Madrid history.

The long-serving club captain replaced the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano as the Spanish giants' most prolific marksman after netting twice in Madrid's 4-0 Primera Liga win over Sporting Gijon.

The 31-year-old Raul and Di Stefano were tied on 307 goals before the game but 15 minutes into the contest at El Molinon the record was broken as Raul slotted home Sergio Ramos' cross to put Madrid 1-0 up.

That ensured Raul would go down in club folklore, but the former Spain captain preferred to look at the benefit his goals could do the team over any individual plaudits.

Madrid`s win was their eighth on the trot and saw them trim the gap to Primera Liga leaders Barcelona to 10 points with 15 games remaining.

''I feel very good and I`m happy because I`ve been able to surpass Alfredo`s record and also score another goal,'' said Raul, who only needs another 36 goals to replace former Athletic Bilbao hitman Telmo Zarra as the leading overall scorer in La Liga history as well.

''The thing I hope for is that these goals serve for something more than just to break records and that we can get ourselves closer to Barcelona in the table.''

He added in AS: ''It was an important day because we had the chance to cut the difference. It was a great game which we dominated from start to finish.

''The whole team performed at a great level and were better than Sporting at every moment.

''The team have shown in the last few games that they are focused and they have faith that winning the league is still possible.''

Raul knows it will not be easy to overhaul Barca though, with Pep Guardiola`s side having gone unbeaten in 22 league matches since losing on the opening day of the season.

Madrid also have a tricky series of fixtures coming up, starting with a home clash against improving Real Betis next weekend. Betis on Saturday ended Barca's 10-match winning streak in La Liga by playing out a 2-2 draw with the pacesetters, having been 2-0 up early on.

Following that match Madrid then resume their Champions League challenge with a home game against Liverpool, and then travel to Espanyol before facing local rivals Atletico and the return game with Liverpool.

''It`s important that we continue like that (the Sporting game), because the difference is still 10 points and that is a lot,'' added Raul.

''Barca are playing at a great level but there is a long way to go yet. We are focused on the possibility of cutting the gap further because now we face the most important phase of the league and also coming up is the game against Liverpool.

''The teams that are competing in European competition are not going to perform in the same manner as they have recently.''

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