November 30, 2021

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Which unique record can Ronaldo equal?

Which unique record can Ronaldo equal?
Skip to Main NavigationSkip to contentOfficially, Tuesday night was Champions League matchday five. But, for most people, it was simply another opportunity to say: “Blimey, that Cristiano Ronaldo is something else, isn't he?”Every time the Portuguese scores a goal, records tumble and milestones are reduced to mere specks in the rearview mirror. And United's 2-0…

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Officially, Tuesday night was Champions League matchday five. But, for most people, it was simply another opportunity to say: “Blimey, that Cristiano Ronaldo is something else, isn’t he?”

Every time the Portuguese scores a goal, records tumble and milestones are reduced to mere specks in the rearview mirror.

And United’s 2-0 victory over Villarreal was no exception. Our no.7 scored the critical opening goal with just 12 minutes remaining, putting the Reds on course for group-stage qualification.

But, this being Ronaldo, the goal’s relevance was more extensive. That incredible career ledger had to be updated once more. So, what was special about Ronny’s sixth Champions League goal of the season?

Well, for starters, it keeps the forward on track to score in every single Champions League group-stage fixture of 2021/22.

Ronaldo is already the only player in history to achieve that feat before, back in 2017/18, when he scored nine Real Madrid goals across the six matches.

And after his strikes against Young Boys (1), Villarreal (2) and Atalanta (3) this term, he could repeat the accomplishment if he finds the net against Young Boys on 8 December.

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, nine goals in five games) and Sebastian Haller (Ajax, seven in four) could expand Ronaldo’s exclusive group of one, mind you, if they score in their sides’ remaining fixtures.

What else? Well, every goal CR7 has scored thus far in the group stage has been an opener, winner or equaliser, re-emphasising his reputation as one of the greatest ‘clutch’ players of all time. Three of these decisive efforts came in the final 15 minutes (his two against Villarreal plus the equaliser at Atalanta), which only serves to amplify the point.

He’s also into double figures for the club season, which means he’s hit that landmark in each of his last five United campaigns. He’ll have to go some to top the historic 42-goal odyssey of 2007/08, but the tallies of 23 and 26 achieved in 06/07 and 08/09, respectively, could yet be matched or bettered.

Perhaps most incredibly, the 36-year-old’s lob in Spain was his 799th career goal, which means he’s only one shy of becoming the first modern player to reach the mind-boggling total of 800.

Highlights: Villarreal 0 United 2 Video

Highlights: Villarreal 0 United 2

Enjoy the Ronaldo and Sancho goals that booked our place in the last 16 of the Champions League…

Unsurprisingly, caretaker manager Michael Carrick was full of praise for his former team-mate.

“There’s not really much more I can say about Cristiano that hasn’t already been said over a number of years,” smiled the Geordie. “It’s what he does. In the big games, in the big moments when you need that little bit of something, he’s there to deliver. 

“He has this cold, calculated mentality that he is so calm when he gets that half-chance, he never seems to snatch at them. That’s what he’s been gifted with, and he’s worked especially hard to get where he is.”

The 40-year-old also highlighted Ronaldo’s willingness to play in different positions to help the team, after the goal-machine began the Villarreal game on the left flank rather than in his usual central role.

“I’m delighted obviously to have him, but not surprised that he has managed to come up with a goal for us,” continued Carrick. “He played mixed positions and we started him on the left so we could put Anthony [Martial] through the middle. That just shows the flexibility we have across the front line, that we can chop and change positions at times. 

“Whatever position he ended up in, he was responsible and disciplined, [and] that gave us a look of a much stronger team. In the end, you get your rewards, like I said for Jadon [Sancho, who also scored in the win], if you work well as a team and put the full package together. We did tonight.”

As for the man himself? Just another night at the office, as the saying goes. Just another Champions League matchday five for the five-time winner.

“Always great to play in Spain, amazing to win in Spain, satisfying to score in Spain, a country where I always felt special,” wrote Ronaldo, via Instagram.

“Congrats to the lads for a great victory that puts us where we belong! We are Man United and we will never stop fighting for this club!”

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