Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated becoming Real Madrid’s top goalscorer of all time at a ceremony at the Santiago Bernabeu, with all his team-mates present to support his achievements as the Portuguese superstar admitted he had been a ‘bit of a b******’ with the media.
The likes of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Marcelo watched on and applauded the 30-year-old Portuguese star, as well as his mother, son, and agent Jorge Mendes.
Although official records state he is only level with club legend Raul, on 323 goals, Ronaldo himself believes, along with the club and Spanish newspaper Marca, that he scored his 324th against Malmo in the Champions League on Wednesday, thereby breaking the record.
The disputed goal was a strike against Real Sociedad in 2010, which hit his team-mate Pepe and looped into the net.
Pepe generously said Cristiano should have been awarded the goal at the time, and the centre back was present and correct at the ceremony, sitting in the front row in an eye-catching, skin-tight leather jacket.
President Florentino Perez gave an opening speech, before Ronaldo delivered one of his own, followed by a posed photo with his team-mates who joined him on the stage.
They left, before Ronaldo posed for more photos with his family on a stage decorated with all the trophies he has won as a Real Madrid player, including his three Ballon d’Ors.
He then walked out of the room with his son, Cristiano Ronaldo Jr in tow as he was again applauded the the assembled group.
In his speech, before accepting a trophy of a boot and ball, Ronaldo thanked his team-mates, Perez and all his former coaches at Madrid, including current Manchester City and Chelsea managers Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho.
Ronaldo also thanked the media, although he conceded that lately he had been ‘a bit of a b****** with them’.
Until Wednesday night, when he spoke in the mixed zone after scoring twice against Malmo, in Sweden, he had not spoken to the press since March.
Ronaldo was furious with the criticism he received for holding his birthday party on the evening following a 4-0 defeat by Atletico Madrid and vowed not to address them until the end of last season.
Even on Wednesday he argued with reporters over the quality of their questions and refused to confirm he would be staying at Real Madrid beyond May of next year.
But he was in a much happier mood at this event and smiled as he spoke before a packed Box of Honour at Madrid’s stadium.
He said: ‘For me it’s an honour to receive this prize. I never would have imagined when I wore this shirt for the first time I would be the highest goalscorer in the team’s history, that I would beat my friend Raul, and the late Alfredo di Stefano.
‘I’m very happy. In the first place I would like to thank my team-mates, because without them, this never would have been possible.
‘I’d also like to thank my coaches. Pellegrini, Mourinho, (Carlo) Ancelotti and Rafa Benitez. They have always helped me in my career. To the foundation, the staff and the physios.
‘If I have forgotten anyone I ask for forgiveness, because this isn’t an easy moment for me to speak.
‘I’d also like to thank the media, even though lately I’ve been a bit of a b****** with them, but it’s my way of being.
‘And my friends as well. Jorge Mendes, and my mother. And the president for this beautiful event that’s exciting, and one I did not expect.
‘For this, thank you to everyone, and Hala Madrid!’
Perez’s had stated in his opening speech that Madrid supporters truly love their star player, and that with the likes of Cristiano, the team could ‘conquer the impossible’.
The president explained: ‘Today one of our own has conquered a horizon that seemed impossible. Since arriving in 2009 his dedication and commitment has always been beyond doubt. He has always fought to win.
‘Real Madrid fans adore and truly love you. You are an example for all those who love football, inside and out, and for all who want to break into the sport.
‘With your numbers you have surpassed all the great players of Madrid. Your name is already a legend at Real Madrid.
‘Congratulations, Cristiano, because the best player in the world has become Real Madrid’s top scorer of all time.’
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