MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo feels that Liga leaders Real Madrid are now closing in on the title as they prepare to face struggling Sporting Gijon at the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend.
The Portuguese star scored his seventh hat-trick of the season as Real beat neighbours Atletico 4-1 on Wednesday to restore their four-point lead at the top of the table.
The pressure had been growing on Jose Mourinho’s team as their lead — which sat at 10 points in mid-March — was whittled down to one in the wake of Barcelona’s 4-0 victory over Getafe on Tuesday.
But, after some tense moments with the score tied at 1-1 at the Vicente Calderon, Ronaldo made the difference before substitute Jose Callejon got the other goal.
“Still there is a little way to go but the league is near now. We were anxious going into the game as we knew that Barca had won but now we are relaxed,” said Ronaldo, who has already equalled his record-breaking tally of 40 league goals, set last season.
That figure leaves him one ahead of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, although the Argentine has the most in all competitions with 61.
“Losing is not a word in my vocabulary,” added Ronaldo.