Hat-trick hero Ronaldo salutes team-mates
Cristiano Ronaldo was keen to share the plaudits with his Real Madrid team-mates after continuing his stunning scoring form for the Spanish giants by notching another hat-trick in their 4-2 win over Villarreal. Ronaldo netted his fourth treble of the season and took his tally to 22 goals in just 18 league games this term after helping Madrid twice fight back from a goal down to defeat an impressive Villarreal.
Madrid coach Jose Mourinho admitted he was lost for words to describe Ronaldo's brilliant performance, but the player himself, who also scored 26 goals in just 29 league appearances last season following his move from Manchester United, preferred to talk up his team-mates.
Ronaldo said: "All I do is work as best I can, my team-mates help me a lot and without them I wouldn't be able to get all these goals. I want to continue like this and I want to fight for titles at the end of the season. I'm very happy and motivated in his team and I want to help Madrid win something important."
The £80m man's treble helped extended Madrid's winning sequence at home to 17 successive matches in all competitions, and means they stay within two points of leaders Barcelona in the two-horse race for the title. With Barca having won 16 of 18 games this season, Ronaldo admitted his side can ill afford any mistakes in their chase for a first title since 2008, especially at home.
"That is something that you think about in the game. You know that if you slip-up at home it makes everything very difficult for you, but when there are so many games left still you need to think positively," he added in AS. "It's clear that Barcelona and us are the best teams and it's difficult to see us not winning matches, but we have to continue believing because there's a long way to go and everything is still possible."
Another Madrid player who was a happy man following the Villarreal victory was Kaka. The Brazil international stepped off the bench to slide home a Ronaldo pass late on to record his first goal since last season having last week returned from a lengthy injury absence.
Kaka, who underwent knee surgery in August, said on his club's website: "To return to the Bernabeu and score was such a special moment. It had been a long time since I scored, so it was a very important goal to me. I would like to thank the fans for such a warm welcome after all the problems I had. It was all worth it."