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The centre-back was gushing in his appraisal of his Blancos team-mate, after the Portuguese scored his 23rd hat-trick for the club

Raphael Varane labelled Cristiano Ronaldo "special and spectacular" after Real Madrid's 5-1 rout of Real Sociedad on Saturday night.

The Portugal international hit a hat-trick - the 23rd of his Blancos career - as Carlo Ancelotti's men ran riot at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Varane, speaking to Realmadrid.com, was fulsome in his praise for Ronaldo, whose latest stellar showing helped the capital club draw to within three points of Barcelona, who play on Sunday evening.

"Cristiano is special and spectacular - he gives his best in every match," the 20-year-old Frenchman enthused.

"The first half was very good in attack and defence. We are very proud of how we played. We always try to play like we did in the first half.

"We're are improving the way that we are playing and we have to keep working hard to improve every day."

Ronaldo has scored 16 times in just 13 Liga games this term, making him the division's top scorer, and Madrid's director of public relations, Emilio Butragueno, was also keen to hail the impact of the attacker's displays.

"Every game we check how lucky we are at this club to have a player like Cristiano," the former Spain striker said.

"He is a global star. We have to keep enjoying it - he is happy here and I'm sure we'll go a long way with him.

"We are getting close to playing some fabulous football and we are getting better with each passing game."

Madrid sit third after the win, with 31 points from 13 games.

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