Spain hails inspirational Ronaldo

MADRID - Cristiano Ronaldo was hailed as a one-man orchestra after his magnificent all-round performance in Real Madrid's 6-2 trouncing of Villarreal in La Liga on Sunday.

The Portuguese forward opened the scoring with a trademark free-kick on 18 minutes and was in unstoppable form to help set up four more goals as Real trimmed the gap to leaders Barcelona to two points.

It was the perfect tonic for Manuel Pellegrini's side after their 1-0 Champions League defeat at Lyon on Tuesday and came a day after Ronaldo's native Madeira was struck by violent floods and mudslides that killed at least 42 people.

"It was an exhibition," Jose Samano wrote in daily El Pais under the headline: "Cristiano catches fire".

Ronaldo had been inspired either by "his competitive nature, which has driven him since childhood, or the tragic rainstorms over his native Madeira, or a desire to put the setback against Lyon right as quickly as possible," Samano added.

The world's most expensive player had been criticised at times for being selfish since his summer move from Manchester United but it was his creativity and generosity, as well as his awesome talent, that caught the eye against Villarreal.

"The Madrid attack found a one-man orchestra, capable of expressing himself in all the offensive forays," wrote Orfeo Suarez in El Mundo.

"From his demonstration of power for the first goal, of speed and precision for the third, of intelligence in creating the opening for the fourth and of astuteness for the penalty in the sixth of the night," he added.

"This Madrid, the Madrid of Cristiano, is like a predator: if you give it any advantage it won't show mercy. It will kill you."


Writing in Publico, Ladislao Monino said Pellegrini's decision to deploy Ronaldo on the flanks had been key.

"Without doubt it was on the wing where Cristiano played his best match in white," Monino wrote.

"He returned to his origins. There on the flank, where the white line limits a winger's space, where the only escape is with a piece of exquisite skill or trick, Cristiano showed his most extreme version."

Ronaldo offered his help to the people of Madeira on Sunday - after scoring his goal he lifted his shirt to reveal a vest with the name of the island written across it-- and Marca columnist Roberto Palomar noted that the 25-year-old was motivated by the floods on the Atlantic ocean resort.

"Spurred on emotionally by the tragedy in Madeira the lad deployed all of the repertoire we expect," Palomar wrote.

"One supposes that as well as shooting, taking freekicks, orchestrating moves and making passes, Cristiano Ronaldo is also the one who folds the shirts, cleans the boots and cuts the grass," he added.

"The only thing he doesn't do is sell tickets at the gate."