Mourinho praises Ronaldo after hat-trick

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has voiced his admiration of Cristiano Ronaldo in the aftermath of his side's 4-2 La Liga win over Levante on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho

The Portugal international netted a hat-trick to help the capital-city take a big step towards winning La Liga, coming from behind to beat Levante and open a 10-point lead over Barcelona.

On target: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo heads the ball into the
back off the net. Pic/AFP

Mourinho was thoroughly impressed with his attacker's third goal of the evening. "Cristiano Ronaldo's goal was incredible, fantastic and I believe it will go around the world during the next few weeks," Mourinho stated on the post-match press conference.

"The entire team feels so and it was a special strike for Cristiano. It was the 4,000th strike at the Santiago Bernabeu and he deserves it."

Director of institutional relations Emilio Butragueno was equally in awe of the former Manchester United man's performance, and had nothing but praise for the attacker.

"He is a real professional and is very ambitious. He is a key player for Real Madrid and for Jose Mourinho," the 48-year-old said to Canal+. Ronaldo has now scored 27 Primera Division goals in 22 appearances for Los Blancos following Sunday's hat-trick.

Ronaldo headed home a Gonzalo Higuain cross after 49 minutes and then completed his hat-trick with a wonderful 30-yard strike which flew into the roof of the net.

An Arouna Kone header briefly gave a glimmer of hope for Levante but Karim Benzema slotted in a fourth for Real after 65 minutes.

While Barcelona, beaten 3-2 by Osasuna on Saturday, have stuttered on their travels, Real have been in ominous form winning 19 of 22 games and scoring 75 goals which has put them on course for their first league title since 2008.

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