Barcelona, Spain (AP) – Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice Monday to help Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 3-0, in a La Liga match, then dedicated his goals to the memory of Portuguese great Eusebio.
Ronaldo said his league-leading 19th and 20th goals of the season "were for Eusebio," the former Portugal and Benfica star who died on Sunday at the age of 71.
"[Eusebio] was very close to me and helped me a lo. He is a mythic figure, and for me today is a very sad day."
- -Cristiano Ronaldo
"He was very close to me and helped me a lot," Ronaldo said. "He is a mythic figure, and for me today is a very sad day."
Ronaldo moved one goal ahead of Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa as the league's top scorer, getting goals in the 82nd minute and in stoppage time. The second goal came following a cross by substitute Gareth Bale, who returned from a three-week injury layoff.
Karim Benzema opened the scoring from close range in the 67th with his ninth league goal this season.
Madrid's win after the league's two-week winter break left it five points behind Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, who meet Saturday in the Spanish capital.
In Serie A action, Kaká scored his 100th goal for AC Milan in a much-needed 3-0 win over Atalanta, and Napoli beat Sampdoria 2-0 to close the gap on second-place Roma.
In his second spell at Milan, Kaká put the Rossoneri ahead in the 35th minute and added his 101st in the 65th. Teenage striker Bryan Cristante scored his first for the club in the 67th.
"I don't know how to explain the emotion of having scored 101 goals with Milan," Kaká said. "I am really happy to have started 2014 like this."
In the early match, Dries Mertens scored twice to help Napoli close within two points of Roma, which lost to Juventus on Sunday.
Luca Toni scored twice as newly-promoted Hellas Verona won 3-1 at Udinese. In other matches, Parma beat Torino 3-1, Catania defeated Bologna 2-0 and Genoa won, 2-0, against Sassuolo.