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Ronaldo touches 40-mark

sports Updated: May 23, 2011 00:40 IST

AFP
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Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo broke the La Liga goal-scoring record with his 39th and 40th league goals of the season as Real Madrid hammered relegated Almeria 8-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ronaldo poked home from close range on four minutes for his record-breaking goal to overtake the previous best of 38 set by Athletic Bilbao's Telmo Zarra in 1951 and equalled by Real Madrid's Mexican legend Hugo Sanchez in 1990.

Ronaldo struck again on 77 minutes on Saturday with a brilliant run and finish to make it 40 league goals for the season and seal his first ever Pichichi award for the league's top-scorer.

It caps a fantastic season from the Portuguese sensation although he has just the Kings Cup trophy to show for his two seasons at Madrid.

Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor, trying to persuade Real to make his loan move from Manchester City permanent, grabbed his first ever Madrid hat-trick and Frenchman Karim Benzema scored a brace as Real crushed hapless Almeria and went past a century of league goals this season.

League runners-up Real had nothing to play for but helped Ronaldo achieve his personal mission with Sergio Ramos heading across goal and Ronaldo sliding home his historic goal from close range.

On the half hour mark Madrid grabbed a second with Ronaldo feeding Adebayor who finished easily in what could be his last game for the club. Frenchman Benzema grabbed a brace on 47 and 63 minutes to take his season's tally to 15 and substitute Joselu netted an eighth goal on 87 minutes.

Barca beat Malaga
Champions Barcelona ended their stellar league campaign with a 3-1 win at Malaga on Saturday in a timely warm-up for next week's Champions League final against Manchester United.