MADRID - Cristiano Ronaldo kept up his remarkable run of goals netting a hat-trick as Real Madrid crushed Real Sociedad 5-1 at the Bernabeu on Saturday.
The prolific Portugal forward took his La Liga tally to 16 goals from 13 games, adding to his top scorer status in the Champions League where he has eight from four matches.
One of the favourites for the FIFA World Player of the Year award, to be announced in January, Ronaldo has now scored 28 goals in 20 games for club and country this term.
"Ronaldo has a level from another world," Real coach Carlo Ancelotti told a news conference. "He makes scoring look so incredibly easy. It's difficult to find words to describe him."
Karim Benzema and Sami Khedira also scored as Real rattled in four before halftime and climbed to 31 points in third place, two behind city rivals Atletico Madrid, who visit promoted Villarreal on Sunday (1800 GMT).
Unbeaten leaders Barcelona have 34 points and visit struggling Real Betis in Sunday's late game (2000 GMT).
Ancelotti appears to have settled on a striking trio of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, a frontline dubbed 'The BBC' in the local media, and their devastating pace tore apart the Basque visitors in the first half.
"We played a great game, especially in the first half," Ronaldo told broadcaster Canal Plus.
"I am very pleased because everything is going well. The team is starting to find a style of play and we are achieving our objectives."
Asked about his chances of winning a second Ballon d'Or to add to the one he lifted in 2008, Ronaldo said: "I do my talking on the pitch."
Ronaldo had already struck the crossbar when he notched the opener in the 12th minute.
A floated cross from Benzema found him unmarked at the back post, and the Portuguese forward netted from a tight angle.