Cristiano Ronaldo has paid tribute to Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema, who he claims is the best striker in Spain.
The duo ran riot in a 5-0 rout of Athletic Bilbao on Sunday night, with Ronaldo bagging a hat-trick while his French counterpart struck twice.
The 26-year-old came in for some criticism over a number of goal-shy periods last season but, with five goals in all competitions so far, the Portuguese claims that Benzema is responding to his critics.
"I'm happy for Karim. He's the best striker in the league and one of the best in the world," Ronaldo told reporters.
"The criticism he's had is part of being a footballer and we have to be above such things."