West Brom favourite scores nine goals and awarded golden ball after cup triumph

Salomon Rondon won the Best Player of the Concacaf Champions Cup
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Former West Bromwich Albion forward Salomon Rondon has been crowned the Best Player at the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup, in which he guided current club Pachuca to victory. Venezuelan international Rondon's exploits in front of goal - he netted nine times to earn the tournament's Golden Boot - were recognised with the Golden Ball award, too.

Rondon, who is now 34, joined Pachuca this season and has scored 21 times for them in the space of 28 matches - with nine coming in the Concacaf Champions Cup, a glut of goals which included two hat-tricks. Pachuca entered the competition in the second round, and they hammered Philadelphia Union 6-0 over two legs - Rondon had bagged a treble before the hour mark.

In the next round, Pachuca headed to the Costa Rican capital and national stadium to take on Herediano, who they swept aside equally as emphatically; after another hat-trick in the first leg, which Pachuca won 5-0, Rondon netted his seventh goal of the competition in the second leg back in Mexico, which they won 2-1.

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The semi-final meeting with Mexican counterparts America was a much closer affair; Pachuca prevailed 3-2 over two legs, and although Rondon didn't find the net, he plundered a brace in the final over the weekend. Pachuca beat Columbus Crew 3-0 in their own stadium, with Rondon's two goals sandwiching a strike from teammate from Miguel Rodriguez. Following the full time whistle, Rondon was awarded with the player of the tournament award.

The Venezuelan legend - who has scored 41 goals and earned 104 caps for his country - joined Albion from Zenit St Petersburg in the summer of 2015 for more than £15m as Tony Pulis beefed up his Premier League attacking options. Rondon had scored 20 goals for Zenit the season previous and, although he never hit those heights in a Baggies shirt, he contributed 28 goals across three seasons.

Rondon then joined Newcastle United on loan for the fourth year after not being able to fire Albion to safety from relegation to the Championship. He became a fan favourite on Tyneside, but Mike Ashley wouldn't trigger the £16.5m release clause in his contract and Rondon would eventually reunite with Rafael Benitez with Dalian Professional in the Chinese Super League.

Rondon has since been back in England, and with Benitez, when he joined Everton, but in January of last year he returned to the Americas and joined River Plate for a season before pitching up at Pachuca, where he has enjoyed success inside six months of signing for the club.

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