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Ronaldo signs off perfect year in style
December 19, 2016 / 2:56 PM / 9 months ago

Ronaldo signs off perfect year in style

Football Soccer - Real Madrid v Kashima Antlers - FIFA Club World Cup Final - International Stadium Yokohama - Japan , 18/12/16 Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates winning the FIFA Club World Cup Final with the trophy Reuters / Kim Kyung-Hoon Livepic

MADRID (Reuters) - Cristiano Ronaldo signed off his stellar 2016 in style on Sunday, scoring a hat-trick to lift Real Madrid to Club World Cup glory and underline his status as the world’s best player.

Ronaldo, crowned the Ballon d‘Or winner for a fourth time last week, helped Real win the Champions League before leading Portugal to European Championship triumph.

”The statistics don’t lie,“ Ronaldo told Real’s website. ”I’ve had a great season personally and as part of a team. It was a perfect year.

“I have kept my level of performance as high as possible over the last 10 years. I want to keep working and enjoy my football, that is what I love the most.”

The Portuguese forward is savouring everything that has happened since he converted the winning spot-kick in a penalty shootout against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final in May.

Football Soccer - Real Madrid v Kashima Antlers - FIFA Club World Cup Final - International Stadium Yokohama - Japan , 18/12/16 Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo with the trophy after winning the FIFA Club World Cup Final Reuters / Toru Hanai Livepic

Ronaldo did endure a run of four matches without a goal in La Liga in October - his joint-worst run since he joined Real in 2009 from Manchester United - but normal service was quickly resumed.

”People often talk too much, but I‘m used to that,“ the 31-year-old said. ”Everyone always expects more from Cristiano.

Football Soccer - Real Madrid v Kashima Antlers - FIFA Club World Cup Final - International Stadium Yokohama - Japan , 18/12/16 Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo in action Reuters / Issei Kato Livepic

“I always give my best and if I can’t do it, it’s because I‘m unable.”

Ronaldo recently signed a lucrative new contract until 2021 and scored three more goals to fire Real to a 4-2 extra-time triumph over Kashima Antlers in the Club World Cup final.

He is hoping to lead his team to their first La Liga title since 2012 next year and to a successful defence of the Champions League.

“I’d like to thank my team mates yet again because Cristiano cannot win individual trophies without them,” he said.

Reporting by Adriana Garcia, editing by Ed Osmond

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