Cristiano Ronaldo sets new Primera Liga scoring record

Cristiano Ronaldo slots past Almeria goalkeeper Esteban Andres Suarez
Ronaldo has enjoyed the most prolific season of his career

Cristiano Ronaldo set a new Primera Liga single-season scoring record with his 39th and 40th of the campaign for Real Madrid against Almeria.

He notched his first after four minutes and his second on 77 as Real thumped their already-relegated opponents 8-1.

His double meant he moved two clear of the previous mark, which he jointly held with Real's Hugo Sanchez and Athletic Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra.

Sanchez scored 38 in the 1989/90 season and Zarra's 38 came in 1959/60.

Xabi Alonso's free-kick to the far post was headed back across goal by Sergio Ramos and the unmarked Ronaldo was on hand to poke in the opening goal.

His second came late in the game when he fired a long-range effort inside the far post.

Emmanuel Adebayor, whose loan spell from Manchester City is expiring, signed off with three goals, Karim Benzema bagged two and youth team player Joselu notched one at the end.

Ronaldo, who had scored nine goals in his previous three games heading into the final fixture, has netted 53 in all competitions for Madrid this season.

"To score so many goals in a season is very hard. I have to thank my team-mates," Ronaldo said. "The record is for them and the fans too.

"It's good to finish the season in the best manner possible."

Ronaldo and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi are the first Spanish league players to score at least 50 goals in all competitions in one season.

Messi was left out of the squad for champions Barcelona's 3-1 league win over Malaga on Saturday.

But the Argentine can add to his tally of 52 next Saturday when Barca face Manchester United in the Champions League final.