The Nigeria international will target the first intercontinental trophy of his career when his Saudi Arabian Leaders face the European giants in Morocco this weekend
Goals from Vinícius Júnior, Valverde, Rodrygo, and Sergio Arribas handed the UEFA Champions League winners the semifinal triumph over Al Ahly at the Stade Prince Moulay Abdallah in Rabat.
Only Odion Ighalo and Al Hilal now stand between Real Madrid and their fifth Club World Cup title. To book their spot in the title decider, Ighalo’s Al Hilal stunned Brazilian side Flamengo 3-2 on Tuesday.
While the final, slated for Saturday evening at the Stade Prince Moulay Abdallah, will be rightly tagged the battle of the Asian and European Galacticos, it bears an even more personal significance for Ighalo.
Aside from that it offers the Nigerian forward the chance to lift the first intercontinental trophy of his career, it also presents the former Manchester United loanee an opportunity to halt a stinking goal record against Real Madrid.
Ighalo’s record against Madrid
In three appearances, all in the colours of Granada, Odion Ighalo remains without a goal against Real Madrid.
Granada lost two of those games, including a 5-1 thrashing at the Santiago Bernabéu in January 2012.
Former Super Eagles forward Ikechukwu Uche provided the assist to Granada’s only goal on the night. That positive contribution was, however, drowned by strikes from Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain, Karim Benzema (brace), and Sergio Ramos.
Interestingly, Ighalo’s last match against Real Madrid ended in celebration as a Cristiano Ronaldo own goal helped Granada seal a narrow 1-0 win over the side then managed by Jose Mourinho in February 2013.
Just over ten years later, Ighalo will hope for a repeat scoreline powered by a first career goal against Real Madrid that can lift Al Hilal to a historic, first-ever FIFA Club World Cup glory.