On Monday afternoon, Cristiano Ronaldo was wrapped in the warm embrace of Real Madrid’s illustrious history.
He stood shoulder to shoulder at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu alongside Paco Gento, Pirri, Emilio Butragueno and Amancio- four of Los Blancos’ greatest ever goalscorers.
And Portuguese phenomonen CR7 did not look out of place with his predecessors, all of whom rank among Real’s top-10 scorers of all time.
They were there to welcome Ronaldo into their pantheon, after his hat-trick against Sevilla last weekend propelled him into sixth spot on Real’s all-time top scorers list.
Ronaldo’s achievement- 182 goals and counting for Real- ties him with Gento, who won a record six European Cups and 12 La Liga titles during the club’s golden era in the 1950s and 1960s.
CR7’s feat is all the more spectacular when his paltry three-and-a-half seasons at the Bernabeu are taken into consideration.
And if he is able to stay at the club for a similar period, there is no telling how many times his name will appear on the scoresheet for Real, and where he will finish on their list of greatest ever players.
"It is an honour to be one of these legendary scorers and to be one of the top-scorers," Ronaldo said at the ceremony with the ageing former Real stars.
"To make this list in the short time I've been with the club, to see my name associated with these players is a reason to be proud, motivated and happy."
Real legend Raul is the club’s leading goalscorer for now, with 323 goals in 741 games to his name.
But CR7 says he has the former Spanish international striker’s record in his unerring line of sight.
"I have always said that records are made to be broken, not just by myself but by the next generation of players," he said.
"I am happy to have beaten these records and I am happy to have reached these numbers. What I want more than anything is to keep on going and try for first place."