Schalke 04's veteran Spain striker Raul is hoping to add to his record tally of UEFA Champions League goals having netted for the 72nd time in all European competitions in last night's 5-2 hammering of holders Inter Milan. His 53rd-minute strike at Milan's San Siro stadium in the quarter-final, first-leg, was the 33-year-old's fourth Champions League goal this season.
The all-time Champions League scorer is still going strong and with Schalke hosting Inter in the second-leg next Wednesday at the Veltins Arena, the German side are in pole-position to advance to the semi-finals.
"I am so delighted at this win," said the Spaniard who made the last of his 102 appearances for the world champions in 2006 having scored 44 goals for his country. "It's a big step for us - but we are not definitely through to the semi-finals yet. We still have 90 minutes to get through. We are up against a dangerous side."
The ever-green Spaniard made his debut in European football's top domestic competition back in 1995 for Real Madrid against Dutch side Ajax in a group stage match and has scored goals in each Euro campaign since 1997.
Having won the Champions League three times with Real in 1998, 2000 and 2002, Raul joined Die Konigsblauen of Schalke before the start of the season and is enjoying a second-wind in his career. More than a decade ago, his haul of ten goals in the Champions League made him the top-scorer in the 1999/2000 season for Real.
Raul said he has no regrets on leaving Real, who Schalke could now face in the closing stages of the Champions League having hammered Tottenham 4-0 in Madrid last night in their quarter-final. "The Champions League is a very special competition for me," he said. "When I left Real I left a great club but joined a great club. We have a very high level and a fine team."