Real Madrid legend Raul has insisted that there is life for Real Madrid after Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Euro 2016-winning Portuguese captain has become synonymous with Madrid since his record-breaking £80m move from Premier League side Manchester United back in 2009. His performances and goals have helped Los Blancos to many titles – including two Champions League titles, the last of which coming after a penalty shootout win over city rivals Atletico two months ago.
On his way to helping Real to win their 11th European Cup last season, Ronaldo was also able to break Raul’s goal-scoring record. The Spanish forward had scored 323 goals in 741 games for the club in his 16-year spell, but Ronaldo needed just six years and a mere 311 matches to surpass that total in October 2015.
Some have suggested that Zinedine Zidane’s side have become too reliant on the 31-year-old, but Raul – who is now retired, after spells at Schalke 04, Al Sadd and New York Cosmos – is confident that the good times will continue at the Santiago Bernabeu even after Ronaldo has departed.
Raul told AS: “There is definitely life after Ronaldo.
“What Cristiano has been doing is huge, but Madrid have a great team with players who can still offer more. The important things is that they keep working as a unit.”
Not since his first season in Spain has Ronaldo failed to find the back of the net at least 50 times for Madrid. He featured alongside Raul in that first 12 months at Real and the Spaniard insists that the pair were able to strike up an understanding and a mutual respect that remains to this day.
Raul added: “Cristiano has been the top scorer for the last seven seasons or so. Nobody expected him to perform like this, he has an incredible desire to meet his objectives and keep working.
“I have a good relationship with him. And there is a mutual admiration.
“It’s a shame that we played together for just one year, but it was an important year and we had a connection.”