Alfredo Morelos has written his name into the record books after UEFA confirmed the 14 goals he has scored during Rangers’ run to the last 32 of the Europa League is the biggest haul for a single player in European competition before Christmas.
The Ibrox hitman topped the scoring charts for the group stages as he helped Steven Gerrard’s team seal a place in the first knockout round with his haul of six goals.
That follows the eight goals the Colombian netted during qualifying – and he needs just four more to match a benchmark set by compatriot Radamel Falcao.
Governing body UEFA has checked back through its records and says he already sits joint sixth in the table for the most goals scored in Europe during a single season.
Falcao set the current record of 18 as he fired Porto to Europa League glory in 2011.
Morelos will hope to take a step closer to equalling his international team-mate’s tally when Rangers face Braga in their clash at Ibrox on February 20.
- 18 - Radamel Falcao (Porto, 2010/11 Europa League)
- 17 - Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, 2013/14 Champions League)
- 16 - Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, 2015/16 Champions League)
- 15 - Jurgen Klinsmann (Bayern Munich, 1995/96 UEFA Cup); Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, 2017/18 Champions League)
- 14 - Alfredo Morelos (Rangers, 2019/20 Europa League); Jose Altafini (AC Milan, 1962/63 European Cup); Lothar Emmerich (Borussia Dortmund, 1965/66 European Cup Winners' Cup); Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke, 2011/12 Europa League); Lionel Messi (Barcelona, 2011/12 Champions League)
The 23-year-old hit his 27th goal in all competitions during Sunday’s 2-0 Ladbrokes Premiership win at Motherwell but his celebrations were quickly cut short as he was sent off for aiming an inflammatory gesture at the home support.
It was a return to bad habits for a player who has largely brushed up his act after being dismissed five times last season.
But boss Gerrard has no doubts his talisman will learn his lesson.
Speaking after his side’s win at Fir Park, he said: “Alfredo was unplayable. Unplayable.
“(The red card) is a setback, he knows that, we know that. But let’s not forget how much of an improvement there has been.
“We will reset him and I’m sure he will be fine because he hates missing football matches.
“I’m sure he hates getting punished in the pocket so hopefully he will get back on the horse and continue to improve in that area.”
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