Cristiano Ronaldo scored two free-kicks to take his tally to 38 goals for the season, equaling the benchmark set by Athletic Club's Telmo Zarra (1950/51) and Real Madrid CF's Hugo Sánchez (1989/90) and opening up a 14-point lead at the top of the Golden Shoe rankings with one Spanish league game remaining.
Ronaldo scored his first set-pieces of the season in Madrid's 3-1 victory against Villarreal CF and the Portugal forward could not hide his delight at the success he has had in front of goal this season. "At the start of the season I didn't expect to score so many goals but having now done so is something really beautiful," the former Manchester United FC player said. "To join two Liga legends like Zarra and Sánchez is a real honour for me. I have been continually trying with a lot of free-kicks but haven't been that lucky up until now; finally it came off."
Madrid finish the season with a home fixture against UD Almería next weekend, a game which gives Ronaldo a chance to add to his 64 goals in 62 league appearances since signing for Los Merengues while also making the top-flight record his own. He added: "Of course I would love to do that but I won't be obsessing about it."
On a weekend when FC Barcelona were handed the Liga trophy for a third successive season, Lionel Messi failed to find the net for the third week running while Mario Gomez ended the Bundesliga campaign on a high, scoring in FC Bayern München's 2-1 victory against VfB Stuttgart to go level with Antonio Di Natale in third. Elsewhere, four players are now tied for seventh place after Samuel Eto'o grabbed his 21st goal of the season in FC Internazionale Milano's 1-1 draw against SSC Napoli and Kévin Gameiro scored FC Lorient's second goal as they held Olympique de Marseille to a 2-2 draw.
ESM Golden Shoe standings: 16 May
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF) 38 x 2 = 76
2. Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) 31 x 2 = 62
3. Antonio Di Natale (Udinese Calcio) 28 x 2 = 56
Mario Gomez (FC Bayern München) 28 x 2 = 56
5. Edinson Cavani (SSC Napoli) 26 x 2 = 52
6. Papiss Cissé (SC Freiburg) 22 x 2 = 44
7. Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United FC) 21 x 2 = 42
Moussa Sow (LOSC Lille Métropole) 21 x 2 = 42
Samuel Eto'o (FC Internazionale Milano) 21 x 2 = 42
Kévin Gameiro (FC Lorient) 21 x 2 = 42
Only the leading five countries – Spain, Italy, Germany, France and England – in the UEFA rankings have two as their multiplier. This is to emphasise the difference in (international) performance level between clubs from those countries and those of other nations.
A player cannot play first in a summer league (e.g. Norway) and then in a winter league (e.g. Spain) and combine the points totals for each season.
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