Ronaldo, Salah, Icardi bag four; Race for European Golden Shoe intensifies

    Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored 444 goals in 429 Real Madrid appearances since joining from Manchester United

    Story highlights

    • Ronaldo, Salah & Icardi all score four goals
    • Race for European golden shoe intensifies

    (CNN)Hopes of challenging Barcelona's dominance in the Spanish League have long since evaporated for Real Madrid but the defending champions do have one race they think they can win.

    Zinedine Zidane has backed Cristiano Ronaldo to catch Lionel Messi in the race to be named La Liga's top scorer, describing the Portuguese as "from another galaxy."
      Ronaldo found the back of the net four times against Girona in Sunday's La Liga match-up, helping Los Blancos to a 6-3 victory.
      It was the 33-year-old's 50th career hat-trick, and the eighth time he has bagged four or more in a Real Madrid shirt.
      Having languished on four La Liga goals before the turn of the year, Ronaldo has scored 18 in nine league games since, taking him to second in the overall standings behind his Argentine rival.
      No player from Europe's top five leagues has scored more in 2018.
      "Cristiano's a very important player for us; he transmits an important and positive energy to the group," said Zidane.
      "He's unbelievably ambitious and that comes across in every training session and in everything he does on the pitch. It's what makes him different from the rest."
      Having surpassed Luis Suarez, Ronaldo is now just three behind Messi as his quest for a fourth Pichichi Trophy intensifies.
      "Hopefully he can catch him. It's important for him and for us too," said Zidane. "When he's playing well, the team plays well".