Cristiano Ronaldo sets new Champions League goal scoring record

© Juan Medina
Cristiano Ronaldo scored four goals in Real Madrid’s 8-0 rout of Malmo last night, taking his tally for this season’s Champions League group stage to 11 - a new record.

The Portuguese attacker had previously jointly held the record of nine goals in the six-game pool along with Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano, but became the first player to hit double digits with his haul against the Swedes.

Ronaldo’s incredible feat also means he finishes the Champions League group stages as the tournament’s leading scorer for a record fifth time.

The current Ballon d’Or holder netted in the 39th, 47th, 50th and 58th minutes, with the victory ensuring the Spanish giants finish on top of Group A.

Interestingly, Ronaldo’s 11 group stage goals came in just four matches, with the versatile attacker drawing a blank in both fixtures against Paris Saint-Germain. He racked up his impressive tally against Malmo and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Ronaldo’s 11-minute hat-trick is the fastest treble of any Madrid player in Europe since 1968. The superstar is also the first Real player to net four goals in one match on the continent.

Ronaldo came short of equaling the record for the most goals scored in a Champions League game, with Messi and Adriano having scored five times in a single outing in the past.

The Real Madrid man also found the net from a direct free-kick to open his tally against Malmo, an improvement on his recent poor return from dead-balls.

Ronaldo has not been at his imperious best this season and the goals will take some of the pressure off his shoulders. His goal tally is 10 in La Liga this season, but he trails Barcelona duo Neymar and Luis Suarez in the domestic scoring charts.

Madrid were humbled 4-0 by eternal rivals Barcelona recently, with the Portugal international getting a battering from the press after his ineffective performance for Rafa Benitez’s team.

Real was the first team to win 10 European Cups back in 2013 by lifting La Decima. Madrid fans are hoping their big win over Malmo could be a springboard for success again this season.

Interestingly enough, Real Madrid's 8-0 was the joint-highest Champions League group stage result; the other 8-0 was also masterminded by Rafael Benitez at his former club Liverpool, when they beat Besiktas 8-0 at Anfield in 2007.

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