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Messi earned second place and prolific Bayern striker Mario Gomez was third with 59 points, 20 behind Messi.

Fourth position in both the team and players’ rankings was awarded to the newly promoted Premier League team Sawnsea, which won the League Cup on Sunday with a comfortable 5-0 victory over Bradford. Nathan Dyer, who scored twice at Wembley, was tied for fourth with FC Porto striker Jackson Martinez.

The League Cup clearly had the attention of the panel of global soccer journalists.

“It’s the first trophy in 101 years for Swansea and (manager) Michael Laudrup deserves credit for what he has achieved until now with the Welsh club,” Aurelio Capaldi of Italy’s RAI Sport broadcaster said. “As well as beating Bradford and winning the Capital One Cup, he made his team play nice football.”

Franck Ribery, in ninth, meant Bayern had two players in the top 10, while Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart was voted into seventh after making a crucial penalty save against Chelsea on Sunday. The Premier League champions went on to win 2-0, earning Hart a rare appearance for a goalkeeper in the rankings.


AP Global Soccer Rankings for week ending Feb. 24

(Previous rankings in parentheses)


1. Stephan El Shaarawy, 85 points.

2. Lionel Messi , (1), 79.

3. Mario Gomez, 59.

4. Nathan Dyer, 49.

(tie) Jackson Martinez, 49.

6. Kevin-Prince Boateng, 47.

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