Balotelli tops AP rankings after 1st Milan game

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Juventus and Borussia Dortmund’s Poland striker Robert Lewandowski were in sixth and seventh, with a new face, Colombia and Porto striker Jackson Martinez, being picked out in eighth place. Martinez has been linked with several big money moves to England and Germany.

Leonardo Bertozzi of ESPN in Brazil said Martinez’ performance in Portugal at the weekend was impressive.

“Martinez was outstanding with a hat trick in the team’s 4-0 win over Vitoria de Guimaraes, his best showing for the Dragoes (Dragons) this season,” Bertozzi said.

Lionel Messi, usually in top place, could manage only ninth and a meager 31 points.

With Bayern and United filling the top two team spots, Borussia Dortmund underlined the strength of the Bundesliga this season by finishing third, just eight points behind the English club.

Paris Saint-Germain was fourth after a high-profile week that culminated in an impressive 4-0 away victory over Toulouse.

“Chelsea, which I grudgingly let back in to my top 10 last year is banished again,” said Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in the United States. “This opens up a spot for PSG, which may have had the most interesting week of the season with its David Beckham signing.”

Beckham joined the Qatar-owned club until the end of the season.

AP Global Football Rankings for week ending Feb. 3.

(Previous week’s rankings in parentheses)


1. Mario Balotelli, 181 points.

2. Moussa Sissoko, 117.

3. Mario Mandzukic (8), 113.

4. Wayne Rooney, 105.

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