Gonzalo Higuain expressed his delight at scoring his third successive hat-trick to help Real Madrid defeat Real Betis 4-1 in La Liga on Saturday.
The Argentine scored three goals against Espanyol two weeks ago, netted three against Chile on international duty last week, before striking another three for Real, taking his league tally to eight for the season.
"I'm very pleased. After having to wait so long to play, now I'm enjoying myself a lot," said Higuain, who suffered with a back problem which kept him out for much of last season, losing his place to Karim Benzema in the process. "I'm making the most of my opportunities." He struck in the 46th minute and, after Kaka doubled the lead, scored twice more for Jose Mourinho's team.
Title rivals Barcelona beat Racing Santander 5-0, Lionel Messi scoring twice, and Villarreal, who play Manchester City in the Champions League tomorrow night, drew 0-0 with Getafe.