Messi and Barcelona top AP Global Football 10
Dec. 09, 2014
LONDON (AP) — Lionel Messi and Barcelona beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid to top the Associated Press Global Football 10 on Tuesday.
Both Messi and Ronaldo scored hat tricks at the weekend and, despite Ronaldo setting a Spanish league record with his 23rd treble, Messi takes the leading player honors after propelling Barcelona to a 5-1 victory against Espanyol.
Ronaldo's goals led Real to a 3-0 triumph against Celta Vigo, its 18th straight win in all competitions, equaling a record set by Barcelona in 2005-06.
"It's really amazing what Messi and Ronaldo are doing now, with hat tricks seemingly every week," Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in the United States said.
Fellow voter Aurelio Capaldi of RAI Sport in Italy believes Messi edges Ronaldo because Barcelona had to come from behind to secure its win over Espanyol.
"Espanyol took the lead in Barcelona's derby and the 5-1 victory for Luis Enrique's men has a lot to do with the Argentinian genius," Capaldi said. "Even if the score is eloquent, I'm not sure Barcelona would have won without Messi."
Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse is third after scoring twice as his side beat Chelsea 2-1, handing the Premier League leader its first loss this season.
The result places Newcastle fourth in the team vote this week, behind Bayern Munich.
"I am always impressed by how solid Chelsea has been this season," Ubiratan Leal of trivela.com in Brazil said. "I can't help myself but recognize the value of the first team to beat them."
Bundesliga leader Bayern secured a 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen with the decisive goal from Franck Ribery, who is seventh in this week's player vote.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting enters the poll in fourth, after also scoring a hat trick. His three goals came for Schalke in its 4-0 win over Stuttgart.
Premier League champion Manchester City is fifth, after it took advantage of Chelsea's slip with two wins against Sunderland and Everton in the Premier League and closed the gap between the two sides to three points.
Spanish champion Atletico Madrid is one place behind after it beat Elche 2-0, and West Ham enters this week's poll in seventh after beating Swansea 3-1 in the Premier League on Sunday.
West Ham currently occupies fourth place in the Premier League, and its victory over Swansea was spearheaded by two goals from Andy Carroll, who is sixth in the player vote.
The London club received three more votes than Manchester United, which won 2-1 at Southampton on Monday thanks to a double from striker Robin van Persie to continue its resurgence with a fifth straight win.
Van Persie is another entrant in this week's top 10 players, taking eighth spot.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is fifth after his double in a 2-1 comeback win against Nantes saw Paris Saint-Germain remain a point behind leader Marseille.
PSG is 10th in the poll this week thanks to the victory.
AP Global Football 10:
1. Lionel Messi, 143 points.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo, 131.
3. Papiss Cisse, 90.
4. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, 81.
5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 76.
6. Andy Carroll, 54.
7. Franck Ribery, 53.
8. Robin van Persie, 47.
9. Mario Mandzukic, 37.
10. Sergio Aguero, 31.
1. Barcelona, 131.
2. Real Madrid, 123.
3. Bayern Munich, 92.
4. Newcastle, 87.
5. Manchester city, 65.
6. Atletico Madrid, 53.
7. West Ham, 45.
8. Manchester United, 42.
9. Genoa, 37.
10. Paris Saint-Germain, 33.