Zidane: We passed character test

Fox in the box – Nenad Krsticic

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was full of praise for Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese star hit a hat-trick as they laboured to a 4-1 win over Alaves.

Madrid had to rely on two late goals to settle a nervy game after coming from behind at the Mendizorrotza Stadium.

Ronaldo hit a hat-trick, but also saw his penalty kick saved as Los Blancos ran out the eventual winners in a game that the final scoreline doesn’t accurately reflect.

Speaking after the game, Zidane said that he felt Madrid had passed a test of character.

"I'm pleased with the match. I'm impressed with the perseverance we showed because the first half and the start of the second were not easy,” he said.

"It was a difficult win because our opponents did very well but I think we deserved it. You don't win La Liga without suffering a bit – it's impossible – and today we showed we can suffer against a tough opponent.

"We kept our cool and experienced some difficult periods. Thinking that you're Real Madrid doesn't win you games. Alaves made it very hard for us."

Zidane also praised Ronaldo, who has not been in the best of form so far this season.

"It's great that Cristiano scored, and that he did get three goals is even better. We are happy with his performance.

"We are always going to ask that he scores goals but he was good in every aspect. Let's hope it stays that way. He has a lot of patience and showed today that with hard work anything is possible."