Lisbon: Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his fourth Ballon d’Or award with his 500th goal at club level to seal Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Club America on Thursday and book his side’s place in the FIFA Club World Cup final.
The prolific Portuguese ran onto Alvaro Morata’s through-ball and fired home in the 93rd minute, but his celebration was cut short when referee Enrique Caceres appeared to rule the goal out for offside, only to confirm the goal after consulting the video referee. Ronaldo’s goal meant he also became the first player to score for two different teams in the Club World Cup, having netted in the 2008 semi-final for Manchester United against Gamba Osaka.
In a hectic close to the year, the Portugal captain was chosen as the winner of France Football’s prestigious Ballon d’Or award on Monday for his role in leading Real to Champions League success last season and his country to victory at Euro 2016, the nation’s first major trophy. The 31-year-old has the chance to add to this year’s triumphs — which also included the European Super Cup win in the summer –when Real face Japanese champions Kashima Antlers in Yokohama on Sunday in the Club World Cup final.
Ronaldo is Real’s all-time top scorer with 377 goals. He also netted 118 times for United and five times for his first professional club, Sporting Lisbon. He has scored 68 times for Portugal, racking up his 500th goal for club and country last year in a 2-0 win for Real against Malmo.