Cristiano Ronaldo once again delivered on the big stage as he scored a hat-trick to put Real Madrid in the driving seat in their Champions League semi-final with Atletico – but there is confusion over just how many goals he has scored for the club.
His treble in the 3-0 first-leg win over their city rivals was his seventh Champions League hat-trick, drawing level with Lionel Messi’s record.
He also banished any suggestions he is just a flat-track bully in Europe, with the three goals meaning he has now scored 52 times in the knockout stages – including 13 semi-final goals – compared to 51 group-stage strikes.
Ronaldo now has 103 goals in Europe’s top competition, which is three more than the total Atletico have managed in their history.
However, there was controversy as when his third goal went in, Real’s official Twitter account proclaimed it was his 400th goal for the club. But official records state he is in fact on 399 goals.
The root of the confusion is Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Real Sociedad in September 2010.
In the game, Ronaldo’s 74th-minute free-kick found the back of the net, but was deflected in off teammate Pepe en route. Officially, the defender was awarded the goal, but Real’s records showed it to belong to Ronaldo after Pepe said it should be given to his compatriot.
He told Marca at the time: “Regardless of what the official match report says, the goal belongs to Cristiano.”
So while the whole world is still waiting for the Portuguese’s 400th strike for Real, Ronaldo and the rest of those inside the Bernabeu are already celebrating.