Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired La Liga leaders Real Madrid will have Spain’s 22-year goal-scoring record in their sights when they host third from bottom Sporting Gijon on Saturday (1800 GMT).
Real restored their four-point lead over Barcelona on Wednesday when Ronaldo netted his seventh treble of the campaign in a 4-1 rout of Atletico Madrid to become the first player to notch 40 goals in two consecutive seasons in Europe’s top four leagues. The Portuguese and his team mates have amassed 104 goals in 32 La Liga games and three more would equal the record Real set in the 1989-90 season under Welsh coach John Toshack. With six games left they are closing in on a first domestic league title in four years, although with Barca on a run of 10 straight wins and Real’s trip to the Nou Camp looming on April 21 the destination of the crown is by no means a foregone conclusion. Ronaldo’s spectacular form -- he has also provided 11 assists in the league -- has been the principle reason Real are closer than ever to ending Barca’s three-year grip on the title and he is brimming with confidence for the run-in.