On song Ronaldo unfazed by Barcelona goal glut

MADRID, Nov 22, 2010 (AFP) - Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are scoring for fun this season and the league's top two scorers will come face to face on November 29 when Real Madrid are in Barcelona for the first Clasico at Camp Nou.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) celebrates with forward Pedro Rodriguez (R) after scoring against Almeria during their Spanish League football match at Juegos del Mediterraneo stadium in Almeria on November 20, 2010. Barcelona won 8-0. AFP

Unbeaten Real hold a one-point lead over Barcelona going into the match after Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in a 5-1 home win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday to make it a perfect six wins from six at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Barcelona were also in trigger happy mood, thrashing Almeria 8-0 to equal the biggest away win in Spanish league history with Argentine superstar Messi bringing up a century of league goals with Barcelona with his fifth league hat-trick.

"The 8-0 at Almeria doesn't tell me anything, lets see if they score eight goals against us on Monday (November 29)," declared Portuguese Ronaldo.

"We are very happy for the win and I'm also very happy for scoring three goals, but the important thing is that we continue being leaders. I'm fighting to win the league, not for the Pichichi (leading goalscorer in La Liga)."

Ronaldo, 25, has 14 league goals in 12 league games to lead the goalscoring charts from Messi who has 13 goals in 10 league games as the duo steal the headlines in Spain.

Messi's hat-trick against Almeria means he has 101 league goals in just 154 appearances and at the tender age of 23 the Argentine is fourth in Barcelona's all-time league scorer list with Samuel Eto'o the next target on 108 goals.

Messi top-scored in the league last season with 34 goals in 35 games and the Ballon D'Or winner has carried on his goalscoring form scoring in seven consecutive matches in all competitions for Barcelona and also netting the winner for Argentina in their recent 1-0 friendly win over arch rivals Brazil.

"What else can you say about Messi?" said team-mate Andres Iniesta.

"There are no words left! Let's hope he continues like he is. This is the perfect atmosphere for him to progress even further."

Barcelona have won the last four Clasicos against Real Madrid on their way to back to back league titles but manager Pep Guardiola played down the significance of the 8-0 drubbing of Almeria saying it wasn't a warning of any kind.

"We are not trying to send out a message to anyone," said Guardiola.

"We scored nearly every time we went forward, unlike other days. It is not easy to describe a game that finished like that. I want to congratulate the team on their effectiveness.

"Everything we did is our own merit. That's the way. We have shown once again that if we do certain things, show solidarity, that we all do everything, we control the game. The talent does the rest."

Guardiola rested Spanish World Cup star Gerard Pique against Almeria as a booking would have ruled the key defender out of the Clasico against Real and must now decide whether to rest players for Wednesday's Champions League match at Panathinaikos.

Bojan Krkic could be given a chance to shine after coming on as a substitute to score twice against Almeria and received praise from his manager.

"He (Bojan) never lost his confidence, and neither did we lose faith in him," added Guardiola. "He was a vital part of the league championship last year. He made the two goals he scored. We know he's there when we need him."

Real are also in European action in midweek travelling to Ajax on Wednesday for their Champions League group match and coach Jose Mourinho may choose to rest players with his side holding a five-point lead in their group.

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