In Real Madrid’s Club World Cup semi final fixture against Al Jazira, Cristiano Ronaldo scored to break yet another record which had been jointly held alongside his arch nemesis–Lionel Messi. Popular betting site like 10Bet, had placed the Madeira born forward as a favourite to score in the clash.
Hosts, Al Jazira, going into the clash as huge underdogs against the defending Champions had surprisingly managed to contain Real Madrid in the first half. Ronaldo, whose ruthlessness in front of goal has been called into question following a poor goal return in the Spanish La Liga, was presented with at least six early chances to open the scoring in the game in Abu Dhabi, but was repeatedly unable to place the ball beyond Al Jazira goalkeeper–Ali Khaseif.
The Abu Dhabi based side then shockingly took the lead when just five minutes before the halftime whistle Romarinho produced a moment of sheer genius to rattle Madrid’s net.
With Competition favourites– Madrid–down by a goal, the home club came into the second half high on confidence, hoping to be first side to eliminate a reigning European Champion at the Semi final stage of the competition.However parity was to be restored when just minutes into the restart of the game, Ronaldo, took advantage of a blip in Al Jazira’s defence and once in with a clear sight on goal finally picked the right spot to place his finish beyond substitute goal keeper Khaled Al Senaani.
With the goal, the 32 year old Portugal Captain, has now scored six times in six Club World Cup games, and has moved ahead of Barcelona’s duo Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, and ex-Monterrey forward Cesar Delgado, who all had found the net five times in the competition.
Ronaldo’s first goal came back in 2008, the same year he won his first Ballon D’or award. He had scored to help a Sir Alex Ferguson led Manchester United side claim a 5-3 semifinal victory against Gamba Osaka enroute to winning the trophy. He added a further four goals to his tally as Madrid claimed the trophy last year; scoring one in the semifinal win against Club America and then the hat trick in the final just as it seemed Madrid were set for embarrassment against hosts Kashima Antlers.
Considering the Club World Cup alone, which became FIFA’s flagship club competition after the 1999/2000 season, Ronaldo can safely be considered as the top scorer in its history. But if the Intercontinental Cup, which was the earlier form of the competition, is included, the all-time scoring record is still held by Pele — who scored seven goals in three matches for Santos in 1962 and 1963. Colombian striker Alberto Spencer, who played for Uruguayan club Penarol, notched six times in the competition between 1960 and 1966.
Ronaldo just a couple of weeks ago became the first player ever to score in all six games during the group stage of the Champions League. That particular strike at home to Borussia Dortmund also took him to 114 career goals in 146 Champions League games — a tally unmatched in the history of the competition, and came just 24 hours before he matched Messi by picking up a joint record fifth Ballon D’Or award.
The Madrid vs Al Jazira game had ended 2:1 in favour of the former as a Gareth Bale 81 minute strike sealed the outcome.