Messi and Barcelona lead AP Global Football 10
LONDON (AP) — Lionel Messi was the unanimous choice as leading player in the Associated Press Global Football 10 poll on Tuesday after his record-breaking weekend.
Messi received the maximum 180 points from the media voters for becoming the Spanish league’s all-time leading scorer with a hat trick as Barcelona thrashed Sevilla 5-1.
His treble took him to 253 career league goals, surpassing Telmo Zarra’s record of 251 set from 1940-55.
“Messi scored a hat trick against a very respectable side and broke a historic record,” voter Ubiratan Leal of trivela.com in Brazil said. “The Argentine is so good that this kind of achievement is losing its impact. All this seems so natural and predictable. But it is not, and I have to remind myself of that every Barcelona match.”
Barcelona was also the top team and Neymar, who scored Barcelona’s second goal, is seventh in the player poll.
Paul Pogba was second to Messi after the midfielder scored twice as Serie A leader Juventus won 3-0 at Lazio, with Messi’s fellow Argentina international Carlos Tevez scoring the third.
“Juventus made a statement in beating Lazio in the Italian capital this weekend, demonstrating the gap still existent between the Old Lady and the league’s emerging, better sides,” Sam Tighe of the Bleacher Report said. “Paul Pogba grabbed a brace as he continues his development into the best central midfielder in the world.”
Cristiano Ronaldo was third after his two goals in Real Madrid’s 4-0 thrashing of Eibar took his league goal tally to 20 in only 11 games.
Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich polled second in the team list with one more point than Juventus after thrashing Hoffenheim 4-0 to move seven points clear at the top.
Arjen Robben and Mario Goetze both scored and were the pick of the players for the German side in fourth and 10th places respectively.
Chelsea has extended its advantage to six points at the top of the Premier League and striker Diego Costa, who opened the scoring in its 2-0 win over West Brom, is fifth in the player poll.
Wayne Rooney is a position further back after scoring the winner in Manchester United’s 2-1 victory at Arsenal on Saturday.
Panelist Julian Bennetts believes the result could be the catalyst for Louis van Gaal’s side to produce the regular winning form that United is renowned for.
“This could be a weekend that kickstarts the Louis van Gaal reign at Manchester United,” Bennetts said. ”(It was) a vital win at Arsenal and a game that vindicated the Dutchman’s change in tactics ahead of the weekend.”
Van Gaal and United had goalkeeper David de Gea to thank for the game being scoreless at halftime, and the Spain goalkeeper denied Arsenal further with his side leading 1-0.
He enters the poll in eighth place this week.
Elsewhere, Marseille ranks seventh after two late goals secured a 3-1 victory over Bordeaux to maintain its position at the of the French league with a point more than defending champion Paris Saint-Germain.
Crystal Palace enters the top 10 teams in ninth this week after coming from behind to record an emphatic 3-1 win against Liverpool on Sunday.
Cruzeiro is 10th after winning a second consecutive Brazilian league title.
Associated Press Global Football 10:
1. Lionel Messi, 180 points.
2. Paul Pogba, 116.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo, 114.
4. Arjen Robben, 86.
5. Diego Costa, 70.
6. Wayne Rooney 56.
7. Neymar, 45.
8. David de Gea, 34.
9. Carlos Tevez, 31.
10. Mario Goetze, 25.
1. Barcelona, 143.
2. Bayern Munich, 135.
3. Juventus, 134.
4. Real Madrid, 118.
5. Chelsea, 86.
6. Manchester United, 79.
7. Marseille, 63.
8. Atletico Madrid, 39.
9. Crystal Palace, 28.
10. Cruzeiro, 25.