Madrid, Sept 18: Another piece of Real Madrid history awaits Cristiano Ronaldo as he can become the club's all-time leading scorer when they host Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
Ronaldo is officially just two goals shy of Raul Gonzalez Blanco's 323-goal record despite having played over 400 games fewer than the Spanish legend.
However, the club claim he is just one goal behind Raul as they credited Ronaldo with a goal back in 2010 that was awarded to Pepe in the referee's report.
The World Player of the Year has struck eight times in his last two games to categorically silence the critics for his slow start to the campaign as he failed to score in either of Madrid's opening two La Liga fixtures or in two games for Portugal.
Ronaldo hit five goals in the same game for the second time in five months in a 6-0 rout at Espanyol last weekend and Granada will be fearing the worst as they were the previous recipients of a five-goal haul in a 9-1 humiliation at the Bernabeu back in April.
"I am happy, it is a proud moment for me to be in this position," Ronaldo said after netting his 33rd hat-trick for the club against Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek.
"I have to thank the team, they helped me a huge amount.
"Before I was bad and now I am good because I have scored eight goals," he added in a thinly veiled dig at his critics.
"My teammates believe in me, they give me the service with which I scored goals."
Ronaldo will, though, be devoid of some of Madrid's key creators with Gareth Bale having joined James Rodriguez on the sidelines due to injury.
Bale suffered a calf injury in the 4-0 win over Shakhtar and will be sidelined for at least two weeks.
Madrid are also likely to be without Sergio Ramos due to a dislocated shoulder, but Raphael Varane should be fit to partner Pepe in defence after recovering from the ankle knock he picked up in midweek.
Victory can take Real to the top of the table for 24 hours as league leaders Barcelona aren't in action till Sunday when they host Levante.
The Catalans' already short squad will have to do without midfielder Rafinha for the rest of the season as he suffered cruciate ligament damage in a 1-1 draw with Roma on Wednesday. AFP