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Football
Ronaldo breaks record as Depor relegated
Portuguese notches 39th and 40th goals of season in 8-1 win over Almeria as Deportivo end 20-year Primera Division stay.
Last Modified: 21 May 2011 22:36
Ronaldo is congratulated by Emmanuel Adebayor and Mesut Ozil after scoring his second [Reuters]

Cristiano Ronaldo set a La Liga record of 40 goals in a season when he netted twice in Real Madrid's 8-1 rout of relegated Almeria.

The Portuguese former World Player of the Year bundled in at the far post after only four minutes at the Bernabeu, taking him past the previous best mark of 38 jointly held by Hugo Sanchez and Telmo Zarra.

Former Real striker Sanchez bagged his tally in the 1989/90 campaign and ex-Athletic Bilbao frontman Zarra in 1950/51.

In other Spanish Primera Division matches, fallen giants Deportivo La Coruna were relegated from the Spanish top-flight following a 2-0 home loss against Valencia.

Ronaldo ran from deep to fire a long-range shot low inside the far post in the 77th minute and had a hand in three more goals as his team mates Emmanuel Adebayor scored three, Karim Benzema two and Joselu one.

"This record is for the team and for the fans," the 26-year-old told Spanish television after the side's last game of the season on Saturday.

"I'm generous with my colleagues because they are with me.

"This is a team game. I thank them for the 40 goals, which was the objective for everyone."

Messi passed

A run of 11 goals in Real's last four league games made it 53 scored in all competitions this season, including six in the European Champions League and seven in the Copa del Rey, where he netted the winner in the final against Barcelona.

Ronaldo's second against Almeria took him past the 52 scored in all competitions this year by Barcelona's World Player of the Year Lionel Messi.

The Argentine has next weekend's Champions League final against Manchester United still to play this season.

The Spanish relegation scrap saw Real Zaragoza third from bottom heading into the final round of games but their 2-1 win at Levante on Saturday lifted them to safety and Depor joined Almeria and Hercules in being relegated.

Depor had spent 20 consecutive seasons in the first division winning the league title in 2000 and reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2004.

Elsewhere Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao clinched fifth and sixth respectively with wins on Saturday to seal automatic qualification to the Europa League.

Alvaro Negredo took his season's tally to 20 with a brace as Sevilla won 3-2 at Espanyol, while Bilbao triumphed 2-1 at Racing Santander on Saturday.

A hat-trick from Sergio "Kun" Aguero helped Atletico defeat Real Mallorca in a thrilling 4-3 win but despite having the same number of points as Sevilla and Bilbao, the capital side finish seventh on the head to head rule and must play a qualifier to get into the Europa League.

Source:
Agencies
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