Ronaldo hails champions Madrid

Ronaldo hails champions Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo spoke of his delight after helping Real Madrid clinch the Primera Division title this evening with a 3-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao.

Ronaldo missed an early penalty at San Mames but he was later on the mark to add to goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Mesut Ozil as Madrid ended Barcelona's three-year reign as Spanish champions.

Ronaldo, who joined Madrid from Manchester United for a world-record £80m in 2009, was quoted as saying by AS newspaper: "It's great. It's my first league here in Spain and I'm very happy, it's mission accomplished and to win the league is great."

Barcelona's 4-1 win over Malaga earlier in the night meant Madrid had to win at San Mames in the evening's late game to seal a record 32nd La Liga crown, and they did so comfortably despite Ronaldo's early penalty miss.

The Portugal international, who also missed from 12 yards in last week's penalty shoot-out defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final, saw his attempted dink saved by Gorka Iraizoz in the 12th minute, but within eight minutes of that miss Madrid were 2-0 up.

Higuain opened the scoring in the 16th minute with a superb 18-yard effort into the top corner, before Ozil doubled Madrid's advantage four minutes later with a far-post finish from Ronaldo's brilliant low cross.

Ronaldo got on the scoresheet himself five minutes after half-time when he headed home Ozil's corner for his 44th league goal of the campaign to all but end any hope of Europa League finalists Athletic getting back into the match.

Ronaldo added of his team-mates: "They are all very happy because it gives you a lot of joy to win the league after 10 months of battling; winning the league is very difficult."

Jose Mourinho's men will celebrate their first league title since 2008 with a traditional visit to Plaza de Cibeles in the centre of the capital tomorrow (Thursday) night, where supporters will be able to greet their heroes from 1900 local time.

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