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Reading, who are still hoping to gain an automatic promotion place, make the trip east to face Norwich at Carrow Road tonight.

Real Madrid captain Raul was keen to play down his hat-trick heroics against Sevilla, preferring to share the plaudits with the whole of the team after the 4-2 victory on Sunday.

Raul’s goals were crucial to Madrid’s victory, but the forward looked to praise the work of his colleagues rather than his own contribution.

“The important thing is the team’s victories,” said Raul, who had only netted two league hat-tricks before yesterday – both against Real Valladolid in the 1998/99 and 2003/04 campaigns.

“Of course I’m happy to have scored three goals but they are the culmination of the great collective work of the team,” he added. “I’m proud of the squad and the coaching staff for this great run, which is a testament to the greatness and the history of this badge.

“I’m honoured to wear this shirt and this is a day we can be really proud of.”

Next match for Madrid is Saturday’s showdown against Barcelona at the Bernabeu – a match that will go a long way to deciding who will end up as champions this season.

Madrid have been in phenomenal form, taking 52 points from a possible 54 in recent months, but despite that Pep Guardiola’s team remain clear at the top and Raul concedes the destiny of the league is still in Barca’s hand’s.

“We had the chance to cut their lead and we’ve taken advantage of it, but Barcelona are the ones who still have the league in their hands,” said the 31-year-old. “We have some difficult games coming up, like the one this weekend, and we have to continue winning and see where we end up.

“To beat Barcelona we will have to play very well. The match will be very difficult but I hope that backed by a good atmosphere at the Bernabeu, combined with the good run of victories we are on, we can win and continue the fight.”

Reading, who are still hoping to gain an automatic promotion place, make the trip east to face Norwich at Carrow Road tonight.

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