RONALDO HAILS TITLE SUCCESS

Cristiano Ronaldo spoke of his delight after helping Real Madrid clinch the Spanish title.

Last Updated: 03/05/12 at 08:01 Post Comment

Celebrations for Real Madrid

Celebrations for Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo spoke of his delight after helping Real Madrid clinch the Primera Division title with a 3-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao.

Ronaldo missed an early penalty at San Mames but he was later on the mark to add to goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Mesut Ozil as Madrid ended Barcelona's three-year reign as Spanish champions.

Ronaldo, who joined Madrid from Manchester United for a world-record £80million in 2009, was quoted as saying by AS newspaper: "It's great. It's my first league here in Spain and I'm very happy, it's mission accomplished and to win the league is great."

Barcelona's 4-1 win over Malaga earlier in the night meant Madrid had to win at San Mames in the evening's late game to seal a record 32nd La Liga crown, and they did so comfortably despite Ronaldo's early penalty miss.

The Portugal international, who also missed from 12 yards in last week's penalty shoot-out defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final, saw his attempted dink saved by Gorka Iraizoz in the 12th minute, but within eight minutes of that miss Madrid were 2-0 up.

Higuain opened the scoring in the 16th minute with a superb 18-yard effort into the top corner, before Ozil doubled Madrid's advantage four minutes later with a far-post finish from Ronaldo's brilliant low cross.

Ronaldo got on the scoresheet himself five minutes after half-time when he headed home Ozil's corner for his 44th league goal of the campaign to all but end any hope of Europa League finalists Athletic getting back into the match.

Ronaldo added of his team-mates: "They are all very happy because it gives you a lot of joy to win the league after 10 months of battling; winning the league is very difficult."

Jose Mourinho's men will celebrate their first league title since 2008 with a traditional visit to Plaza de Cibeles in the centre of the capital on Thursday night, where supporters will be able to greet their heroes from 1900 local time.

Long-serving Madrid captain Iker Casillas, who has now won five league titles with the club, added: "The season has been very long and tough. We've taken a little step forward with respect to last season. The big pity has been the Champions League. Hopefully we can do it next season."

The Spain goalkeeper also hailed the role of Mourinho, saying: "The coach is also a very important part in this.

"We dedicate this to all Madrid fans who wanted a league title. We hope to take another little step forward next year. It was difficult to beat a team like Barcelona we've done it.

"We still need to win the Champions League, but now we are going to enjoy this."

Casillas' team-mate for club and country Sergio Ramos added in AS: "Congratulations to all Madrid fans. We are looking forward to getting to Cibeles to celebrate with everyone.

"Madrid are deserving winners. It's my third league and I'm very happy."

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

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