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Apr 12, 2012

Madrid stars hail Ronaldo

Real Madrid stars Sergio Ramos and Jose Callejon have hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as the best player in the world after his stunning performance in the 4-1 victory over Atletico Madrid.

• La Liga: Real win Madrid derby

Ronaldo put Real's title bid back on track as he netted a hat-trick in the derby, following up two stunning strikes with a penalty before laying on a fourth goal for Callejon.

Los Blancos had seen a ten-point lead at the top of the table dwindle to just one ahead of the match, but Ronaldo's efforts ensured they restored a four-point cushion over Barcelona.

Following the victory, Ramos told the club's official website: "He's the best player in the world. We are lucky to be able to train with him every day and to have him with us."

Callejon added: "For me, Cristiano is the best player in the world - he does things that nobody else can."

The club's assistant coach, Aitor Karanka, was keen to emphasise the efforts of the team on a night when Radamel Falcao's 55th-minute equaliser had left Real in danger of adding to their tally of dropped points following recent draws with Malaga, Villarreal and Valencia.

"Cristiano had a spectacular game, but everybody has contributed," Karanka said. "The entire team's performance was spectacular and when the game became tougher after the equaliser, and the crowd pressurised most, everyone pulled through, not just Cristiano."

Ronaldo's hat-trick was his seventh of the season and took his record in all competitions this campaign to 52. The treble also took his league tally to 40, equalling the mark that won him the European Golden Shoe last season.

However, he insists he is only thinking about helping his side to trophies and is determined to secure victory over Barcelona on April 21.

"I'm not looking for records, but titles for Real Madrid," he told Marca. "We still cannot think that we have won the league, but if we win at the Camp Nou we will be very close. Losing does not exist in my vocabulary."

On the victory over Atletico, he added on his club's website: "We were a little tense because Barcelona won (on Tuesday) and we were forced to win, so mission accomplished. The team is in good form, confident and ready for its next game."

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