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Sporting briefs

Ronaldo: An insatiable Cristiano Ronaldo fired Real Madrid to a 4-1 win over Celta Vigo last night to take Zinedine Zidane’s side three points clear at the top of La Liga and within touching distance of winning a first league title in five years. Real top the standings on 90 points meaning they need just one point from their remaining league game at Malaga on Sunday to finish ahead of Barcelona and lift a first title since the 2012 success.

Howedes: Schalke captain Benedikt Howedes has undergone surgery on a long-standing groin injury, the club have confirmed. The Germany international defender, who has been struggling with the problem for around four months, is expected to be fit in time for pre-season training. He will miss Schalke’s final game of this campaign at Ingolstadt on Saturday.

Weligton: Malaga veteran Weligton has announced his retirement from football. The 37-year-old centre-back played 285 matches for Malaga during a 10-year spell at the LaLiga outfit. Weligton, who struggled with injury this season, said: “The moment has arrived that we all believe never will. The years pass by, and the time has come to end my career, which fortunately I can say has been a winning one.”

Kuyt: Former Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt has announced his retirement after helping Feyenoord win the Eredivisie title. Kuyt, 36, netted a hat-trick on Sunday to secure a first national championship for the Rotterdam club in 18 years. 

Stam: Reading manager Jaap Stam considers his team’s progression into the Championship playoff final as one of the biggest achievements of his career, he said after Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Fulham in the semi-finals. “It’s one of the top ones,” Stam told reporters after the game. “We needed to defend, we needed to dig in and we got that win which is very important.”

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