Ronaldo eyes goal record, six fight for survival
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is looking for personal glory on Saturday when the Portuguese star aims to beat the all-time La Liga goals record of 38 on the final day of the season.sports Updated: May 20, 2011 08:46 IST
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is looking for personal glory on Saturday when the Portuguese star aims to beat the all-time La Liga goals record of 38 on the final day of the season.
Ronaldo equalled the record, set by Athletic Bilbao's Telmo Zarra in 1951 and matched by Real Madrid's Mexican icon Hugo Sanchez in 1990, last weekend and can post a new landmark when Real host already-relegated Almeria at the Santiago Bernabeu.
On a personal level Ronaldo has been a huge success but the silverware has not been as forthcoming with the Kings Cup win not enough to satisfy the former Manchester United man in a season where Barcelona wrapped up the title.
"It could be my best season in terms of goals but as a team we wanted to win the Champions League and league titles," said Ronaldo.
Barcelona are still basking in their third successive league title and their final game of the season at Malaga on Saturday will be another chance to blood youngsters with the Champions League final on the horizon.
Coach Pep Guardiola rested his weary superstars last time out and is set to do the same as his team go for the double in the Champions League final against Manchester United at Wembley on May 28.
French full back Eric Abidal is one player stepping up his fitness in a desperate attempt to make the showpiece having overcome surgery on a liver tumour.
"If I don't play in the final then it is not a problem," said Abidal. "I am lucky because the fitness team know me well and will get me in top form for this day."
In-form Malaga have taken 16 points from the last 18 but have nothing to play for.
At the bottom of the table, the relegation battle will go down to a nail-biting final Saturday as six teams aim to beat the drop.
Almeria and Hercules are already relegated but one spot remains.
Real Zaragoza are currently third from bottom but are just one point from safety going into the final match at Levante.
Getafe hover one point above the drop zone and must improve their wretched away record against a Real Sociedad team that are also not yet safe. Getafe have not won on the road in the league in five months.
Sociedad are two points above the relegation places and need a point to stay up.
Deportivo La Coruna are one point above the bottom three and host a Valencia side that have already secured third place.
Osasuna and Real Mallorca, both two points above the relegation zone, are the other two sides involved in the dogfight and will hope to make home advantage count.
Osasuna entertain a Villarreal side that have wrapped up fourth place, while Mallorca host a Atletico Madrid team that need a victory to try and secure a top six finish.
The race for the Europa League is also set to go down to the wire with three sides jostling for two places.
Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid are all locked on 55 points heading into their final games of the season.
As it stands, Atletico would be the one team to miss out due to their inferior head to head record and the current Europa League holders will hope their rivals slip up and they can win at Mallorca.
It will be manager Quique Sanchez Flores' last game in charge of Atletico after he declared his intention to leave at the end of the season and finishing in Europe is crucial for the club to have any chance of holding on to star Argentine striker Sergio "Kun" Aguero.
Sixth-placed Bilbao are in a similar situation with their Spanish striker Fernando Llorente but know victory at Racing Santander will guarantee them European football.
Sevilla, fourth last season, know a win at Espanyol would secure fifth place as they have a better head to head record over Bilbao and Atletico.
Fixtures - all 2000 GMT unless stated
Malaga v Barcelona (1600 GMT), Real Madrid v Almeria (1800 GMT), Hercules v Sporting Gijon (1800 GMT), Real Sociedad v Getafe, Osasuna v Villarreal, Espanyol v Sevilla, Levante v Real Zaragoza, Real Mallorca v Atletico Madrid, Deportivo La Coruna v Valencia, Racing Santander v Athletic Bilbao.
First Published: May 20, 2011 08:45 IST