Cristiano Ronaldo has equalled the 14-goal total for a UEFA Champions League season, matching Lionel Messi and European Cup record holder José Altafini.
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Cristiano Ronaldo has matched the goal total for a single UEFA Champions League season, with his strike in Real Madrid CF's quarter-final first leg at home to Borussia Dortmund taking his campaign tally to 14 so far.
The Portuguese international entered the last eight with 13 goals to his name in this season's competition, one shy of the record held by his FC Barcelona counterpart Lionel Messi. Ronaldo equalled Messi – and, simultaneously, ex-AC Milan forward José Altafini's 51-year European Cup record – in the 57th minute at the Santiago Bernabéu, collecting a Luka Modrić pass and tricking his way past Roman Weidenfeller before slotting into an empty net.
An incredible group stage performance laid the foundations for his achievement. An opening-day hat-trick against Galatasaray AŞ was an ominous portent for Ronaldo's Group B opponents, and the 29-year-old added doubles against FC København and Juventus. Ronaldo struck nine times in all, breaking the eight-goal group stage record owned jointly by Ruud van Nistelrooy (2004/05), Filippo Inzaghi and Hernán Crespo (both 2002/03) – and Zlatan Ibrahimović, who equalled the feat on matchday five this term.
The irrepressible Ronaldo then almost single-handedly dispatched FC Schalke 04 with a brace in each leg of their round of 16 contest, before another landmark strike against Dortmund, against whom he had registered his 50th UEFA Champions League goal in the semi-finals last year. Ronaldo ultimately upstaged Messi in the scoring stakes last season for the first time in five campaigns – both players are closing fast on the all-time benchmark of 71 set by Raúl González. with Messi on 67, three more than Ronaldo.
UEFA Champions League leading scorers season by season
2012/13: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF) – 12 goals
2011/12: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) – 14
2010/11: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) – 12
2009/10: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) – 8
2008/09: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) – 9
2007/08: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC) – 8
2006/07: Kaká (AC Milan) – 10
2005/06: Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan) – 9
2004/05: Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United FC) – 8
2003/04: Fernando Morientes (AS Monaco FC) – 9
2002/03: Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United FC) – 12
2001/02: Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United FC) – 10
2000/01: Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan) – 9
1999/00: Mário Jardel (FC Porto), Rivaldo (FC Barcelona), Raúl González (Real Madrid CF) – 10
1998/99: Andriy Shevchenko (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Dwight Yorke (Manchester United FC) – 8
1997/98: Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus) – 10
1996/97: Milinko Pantić (Club Atlético de Madrid) – 5
1995/96: Jari Litmanen (AFC Ajax) – 9
1994/95: George Weah (Paris Saint-Germain) – 7
1993/94: Ronald Koeman (FC Barcelona), Wynton Rufer (SV Werder Bremen) – 8
1992/93: Romário (PSV Eindhoven) – 7