Ronaldo, Messi aim to break all Spanish records

2012-04-12 08:53

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have the chance to break the Spanish Liga scoring record on Saturday.

They are without doubt Planet Football’s two greatest players of the current generation, and have been battling for supremacy in La Liga since Ronaldo joined Real Madrid from Manchester United in 2009.

Two seasons ago, Messi picked up the Pichichi trophy – given to La Liga’s top scorer – with 34 goals. Last season, Ronaldo got ahead of Messi with a new record tally of 40.

This season, Ronaldo is on 40, equalling last season’s record, and Messi on 39 – and there are still six games left.

Ronaldo banged in his sixth hat-trick of the season, and his 12th since signing for Real, in the 4-1 destruction of hapless crosstown rivals Atletico Madrid.

“I am very happy to have scored and to have set up the other goal (for Jose Callejon). We have to continue like this. Now the title is a little closer,” the Portuguese hitman said.

The derby victory kept Real four points ahead of rampant Barcelona, who have won their last 10 matches.
The next team in Cristiano Ronaldo’s gun-sights is lowly Sporting Gijon, who came back to life yesterday with a late 3-2 defeat of Levante.

“Now we have to think about the Madrid game,” said Gijon coach Javier Clemente. “It will be a difficult game, but after what we have achieved tonight we are in better spirits.”

Gijon are joint second from bottom, level with Zaragoza, both of them three points above bottom team Racing Santander.

Real will be without midfield suspended anchorman Xabi Alonso.

A win on Saturday will leave Real in good heart for next week’s crucial games at Bayern Munich – in the
semifinals of the Champions League – and the latest Clasico at Barcelona, in what promises to be the league decider.

Barca are away to fifth-placed Levante on Saturday.

Defenders Gerard Pique and Dani Alves are doubtful with pulled muscles, though midfielder Ibrahim Afellay is fit after tearing knee ligaments seven months ago.

Sunday will be an important day for the relegation battle, with Santander away to fourth bottom Villarreal and Zaragoza against Granada.

Sunday’s other games are Espanyol v Valencia, Betis v Osasuna, Malaga v Real Sociedad, Athletic Bilbao v Mallorca and Rayo Vallecano v Atletico Madrid. The 33th round of games will finish on Monday with Getafe at home to Sevilla.

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