Cristiano Ronaldo achieved another milestone in his illustrious career by scoring his 500th career club goal in Real Madrid’s 2-0 Club World Cup semi-final win over Club America.
The Portugal international had endured a frustrating outing in Yokohama for much of the game, hitting the post with one header and then somehow missing a gaping goal when unmarked inside the six-yard box.
He was not to be denied, however, and with the last meaningful touch of the game he received a pass from James Rodriguez and slotted home.
There appeared to be some confusion over whether the goal would stand, with the official checking the Video Assistant Referee system for a potential offside, but replays showed Ronaldo had timed his run perfectly.
Ronaldo had been stuck on 499 after failing to net in club football’s biggest game – El Clasico – and last week’s home Champions League meeting with Borussia Dortmund.
It marks another achievement for Ronaldo, who is Madrid and Portugal’s all-time leading goalscorer, while no player has scored more times in the Champions League than the former Manchester United forward.
Ronaldo scored his first club goal in 2002 at the tender age of 17 for Sporting CP on his league debut against Moreirense, and it was a typically wonderful effort as he waltzed through the defence with a couple of trademark stepovers before dinking his shot over the goalkeeper.
Since then, Ronaldo’s goalscoring exploits have become a thing of legend and propelled him to a position where he is regarded as one of the greatest talents in history.
On three occasions at Madrid he has scored 40 or more LaLiga goals in a season, falling just two shy of 50 in 2014-15.
When Ronaldo reached 500 career goals – including his tally for Portugal – in January, he spoke of a desire to score 500 more before retirement.