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'Unhappy' Ronaldo nets 150th goal as Madrid cruise

Cristiano Ronaldo left reporters scratching their heads last night when he said he did not celebrate his goals in Real Madrid's 3-0 La Liga home win over Granada because he was "sad" for "professional" reasons.

The Portugal international, who asked to be substituted after picking up a knock in the second half at the Bernabeu, said his feelings had nothing to do with losing out to Andres Iniesta for the Best Player in Europe award on Thursday but refused to elaborate.

"I don't celebrate goals when I am feeling sad and that's the case today," Ronaldo said, adding it was a "professional" and not a "personal" issue.

"The people who work here know why and I won't say anymore than that," he said.

Ronaldo said he should be fit to feature for Portugal in their World Cup 2014 qualifiers against Luxembourg and Azerbaijan next week.

"Let's see in a few days if I recover because I want to play with the national team and they are important qualifiers for us," he said. "For sure in the next two or three days I will be fine."

Last night's goal was Ronaldo's 150th in La Liga for the club although Real's joy was tempered somewhat by Barcelona maintaining a five-point advantage over their title rivals with a 1-0 home victory over Valencia, secured by Adriano's 22nd-minute screamer.

Madrid displayed little of the attacking flair they unleashed to topple Barca in the Spanish Supercup in midweek, but Ronaldo's first league goals of the campaign were more than enough.

Ronaldo scored twice before leaving the pitch grimacing and favouring his left leg following a tackle by Borja Gomez that cost the Granada defender a second booking.

With Granada down a man, Gonzalo Higuain scored in the 76th to seal the much-needed win.

In Italy, Juventus thumped Udinese 4-1 yesterday as the hosts had goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic sent of after 13 minutes. Forward Sebastian Giovinco, back at Juve after two seasons with Parma, scored twice for the Serie A champions, who have now won their first two games of the new campaign.

Irish Independent