Cristiano Ronaldo‘s good year keeps getting better.
The Portuguese soccer superstar set a new European goal-scoring standard Tuesday when he scored in Real Madrid win against FC Copenhagen. His 48th minute tap-in was his ninth goal in this season’s UEFA Champions League, making him the top scorer in the 22-year history of the Champions League’s group stage.
Ronaldo passed the mark he shared with Ruud van Nistelrooy (who scored eight for Manchester United in 2004-05), Hernan Crespo (Inter Milan in 2002-03), Filippo Inzaghi (AC Milan in 2002-03) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG in 2013-14).
Ronaldo’s goal against Copenhagen was probably the easiest of the nine he has scored in Europe this season. Real Madrid defender Pepe headed a pass across the goal-mouth to his unmarked teammate, leaving him a simple finish. Ronaldo could have put some distance between him and future record chasers, but he missed a penalty kick in the game’s final minute.
It took Ronaldo just five games to break the record. A thigh injury kept him out of Real Madrid’s game against Galtasaray on Nov. 27, but he returned to the field Tuesday and finished what he started back in September. It’s also worth noting that Ibrahimovic sat out PSG’s sixth and final group-stage game Tuesday.
The goal was Ronaldo’s 68th (for club and country) of 2013, leaving no doubt as to why he’s a finalist for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or Award.
See Ronaldo’s record-breaking goal below.
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