Cristiano Ronaldo's strike at Juventus means the Real Madrid CF forward has equalled the record for most goals in a single UEFA Champions League group stage with two games still to play – although Zlatan Ibrahimović could pip him to a new scoring mark.
Ronaldo's strike at the Juventus Stadium was his eighth of this campaign, and the Portugal forward therefore matches the record held jointly by Ruud van Nistelrooy (2004/05), Filippo Inzaghi and Hernán Crespo (both 2002/03). Indeed Ronaldo has already found the net more than the tournament's leading scorers did in 14 of the 21 UEFA Champions League seasons to date.
The 28-year-old is far from being out on his own, however. Paris Saint-Germain's Ibrahimović is breathing down his neck with seven goals, four of which came against RSC Anderlecht on matchday three – the Swede added another at the Parc des Princes in Tuesday's reverse fixture. Two strikes further back is the indefatigable Lionel Messi, top marksman in four of the past five seasons, who plays on Wednesday.
All is not lost for the chasing pack, though. In ten UEFA Champions League editions, the end-of-season leading scorer has not been first in the chart at the conclusion of the group stage. Ronaldo and Ibrahimović will nonetheless take some stopping if they carry on at this rate.
UEFA Champions League leading scorers after the group stage
2013/14: Ronaldo (8), Ibrahimović (7) – after matchday four
2012/13: Burak, Ronaldo (6)
2011/12: Gomez, Messi (6)
2010/11: Eto'o (7)
2009/10: Ronaldo (6)
2008/09: Benzema, Gerrard, Klose, Messi (5)
2007/08: Ibrahimović, Ronaldo (5)
2006/07: Drogba, Kaká, Morientes (5)
2005/06: Shevchenko (6)
2004/05: Van Nistelrooy (8)
2003/04: Drogba, Makaay, Pršo, Şükür (5)
2002/03: Crespo, Inzaghi (8) – first group stage only
2001/02: Elber, Trezeguet (6) – first group stage only
2000/01: Rivaldo, Simone (6) – first group stage only
1999/2000: Jardel, Rivaldo (5) – first group stage only
1998/99: Zahovič (7)
1997/98: Henry (6)
1996/97: Bokšić, Artur, Jardel, Pantić, Simeone, Simone (4)
1995/96: Litmanen (6)
1994/95: Weah (6)
1993/94: Rufer (4)
1992/93: Sauzée (5)
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