MADRID • Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in all six Champions League group games in one season as Real Madrid edged out Borussia Dortmund 3-2 on Wednesday.
The Portuguese, who was expected to pick up his fifth Ballon d'Or yesterday (this morning, Singapore time), fired a spectacular effort into the top corner to give Real a 2-0 lead inside 12 minutes after Borja Mayoral's opener.
It was Ronaldo's ninth goal in six European appearances this season, a stark contrast to his struggles in LaLiga. He has just two goals in 10 league games this term - his fewest since he was at Manchester United in 2005-06.
"It is obvious that I like playing in this competition a lot, but the most important thing is to be able to get into the next round once more," said Ronaldo, after a record-extending 114th goal in the Champions League, 17 more than nearest challenger Lionel Messi of Barcelona.
"Hopefully Real Madrid can win it for a third straight year."
The holders were already guaranteed to go through to the last 16 as runners-up in Group H to Tottenham Hotspur.
Lucas Vazquez grabbed the winner nine minutes from time after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's quickfire double either side of half-time brought Dortmund level.
But the German side still made the Europa League with a record low two points thanks to their better goal difference over APOEL Nicosia, who lost 0-3 at Spurs.
Real have to turn their attention back to LaLiga, where they are off to their worst start in a decade.
They face Sevilla, who like the defending champions, have 28 points from 14 games, in a key game tomorrow but Real coach Zinedine Zidane admitted injuries will force him to select a makeshift defence.
France defender Raphael Varane limped off just before half-time holding his left leg, joining an increasing list of absentees. Captain Sergio Ramos, right-back Dani Carvajal and holding midfielder Casemiro are all suspended.
After Sevilla, Zidane's men jet off to Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup before hosting Barcelona in the Clasico on Dec 23.
Real have precious little room for error as they already trail La Liga leaders Barca by eight points.
And Zidane did not rule out the possibility that the latest spate of injuries could force the club to reinforce the squad next month.
"We have the possibility (to sign) from Jan 1 and we will see what happens in these 30 days," he said.