(CNN) -- Cristiano Ronaldo has urged his Real Madrid teammates to carry their recent impressive form into the New Year after they cut Barcelona's lead at the top of Spain's La Liga to two points.
The Portugal international scored a spectacular goal as Real kept the pressure up on defending champions Barca with an emphatic 6-0 victory over Real Zaragoza.
But Ronaldo does not want his colleagues to take their foot of the gas and keep the pressure on the Catalan side, who won the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, when the season resumes again on January 2 after the winter break.
"It was important to seal the year with a victory, so we are happy about that. We must all now think of the New Year, which we should start as well as we've ended this one," Ronaldo told the club's Web site.
"I'm working well and I want to carry on this way until the end of the season. I'm doing better every day. I missed two months and coming back was difficult, but things are working out for me."
Real coach Manuel Pellegrini also paid tribute to Barcelona for an amazing 12 months in which they added the Club World Cup trophy to victory in La Liga, the Copa del Rey, Champions League and European and Spanish Super Cup titles.
"What Barcelona have achieved is a great feat and hard to emulate. But there is also great merit in just being two points behind them on the table," he said.
"We've played well away from home against the teams that earned the most points last year. Barcelona's excellent performances add to our own merit."
Meanwhile, Hugo Sanchez become the fourth La Liga manager to lose his job his season after he was sacked by Almeria following their 2-0 away defeat to Espanyol which left them a point above the relegation zone.
Almeria had lost eight of their 15 games in La Liga this season and the Mexican has been replaced by Constantin Galca, the coach of Almeria's B team, on a temporary basis.