La Liga: Ronaldo takes centrestage as Real Madrid face Athletic Bilbao
Cristiano Ronaldo has another chance to move ahead of Raul as Real Madrid's top goalscorer of all time on enemy territory as Los Blancos make the daunting trip to take on Athletic Bilbao today
Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo has another chance to move ahead of Raul as Real Madrid's top goalscorer of all time on enemy territory as Los Blancos make the daunting trip to take on Athletic Bilbao today.
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo is just two goals off matching Raul Gonzalez Blanco's record mark of 323 and has been described as Madrid's only "unquestionable" player by coach Rafael Benitez despite the star names amongst his squad.
Benitez will have to do without Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Sergio Ramos for the visit to the Basque Country so Lucas Vazquez, Jese Rodriguez and Casemiro will battle for a place in the starting line-up.
"We have one player who is unquestionable and that is Cristiano," Benitez said yesterday. "From there we have very good footballers and we will evaluate who is in better or worse shape. It is not just a question of training sessions, but the quality, power and experience of the player.
"I wouldn't say it is an acid test, but they are difficult opponents. Real Madrid lost there last year and it will be important to be concentrated and play with as much intensity as they do."
Athletic have proven their ability to perform on the big occasion as they beat Barcelona 5-1 on aggregate to win the Spanish Super Cup at the start of the campaign. However, they have taken just three points from their opening four league games as a side shorn of the rested Raul Garcia and Aritz Aduriz were beaten 1-3 by Villarreal on Sunday.