Raul receives plaudits for European record after goal
Raul passed Filippo Inzaghi as the all-time leading scorer in Uefa competitions
by Mark Crossley
Spanish striker Raul has been praised after breaking the record for the most goals in European competition history.
His equaliser for Schalke in their 1-1 draw at Valencia in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie was his 71st in a European club fixture.
Team-mate Christoph Metzelder said breaking the record held by AC Milan's Filippo Inzaghi was a fine achievement.
"He's created history - in his first match back in Spain he scores. I'm very happy for him," he stated.
The goal came after Raul held off defender David Navarro before slotting a shot inside the far post beyond outstretched goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
Raul's coach at Schalke, Felix Magath, said: "It was no fluke - that's a genuine goalscorer we are seeing here.
"His marker has to come the long way round and Raul knows it - he knows exactly where he's going to put it. The special thing about him is that he works so much for the team as well."
Valencia coach Unai Emery commented: "If it hadn't hurt us so much we would be the first to congratulate him."
Roberto Soldado, who had put Valencia ahead, was also quick to praise his fellow Spaniard.
"If you give him a chance he'll do what he did," Soldado said. "We knew they were very dangerous, they have outstanding players."
Former Spain striker Raul won six La Liga titles with Real Madrid, as well as three Champions League crowns, scoring 323 goals in 741 appearances at the Bernabeu.
The 33-year-old began his professional career at Real Madrid in the 1994-95 season, and at 17 years and four months became the youngest player ever to represent the senior side, scoring in his second senior game against rivals Atlético Madrid.
He became the first player to reach 50 Champions League goals when he was on target in the 2-1 group-stage victory over Olympiakos in 2005.
He was also the first player to score in two Champions League finals, notably finding the net against Valencia in the 2000 final in Paris.
Raul left the Bernabeu in July 2010 to join Schalke, and has now scored 69 Champions League goals, as well as one in the Uefa Super Cup and one in the Intercontinental Cup (both as a Real Madrid player).
The second leg of the Champions League tie against Valencia takes place in Germany on 9 March.
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