- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

LONDON (AP) - Lionel Messi has replaced Cristiano Ronaldo as player of the week in The Associated Press Global Football 10.

Messi scored twice to give Barcelona a 4-1 win over Levante and takes the leading player honors, despite Ronaldo scoring a hat trick as Madrid beat Shakhtar Donetsk 4-0 in the Champions League.

Messi could have also had a hat trick - he missed a penalty as well as scoring one in Barcelona’s Spanish league victory on Sunday - but his double alongside an impressive performance was enough to beat Ronaldo in the poll.

“The battle seems to never end - Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi respectively dominate in Europe and the national league,” Soren-Mikael Hansen of Politiken in Denmark said.

Anthony Martial of Manchester United is third.

The 19-year-old French striker continued his impressive form since joining from Monaco for a fee which could rise to 80 million euros ($90 million), scoring two clinically-taken goals in his side’s 3-2 win at Southampton.

“Anthony Martial may be only 19, but it is looking increasingly as if Manchester United’s eye-popping investment on him might prove to be a snip,” Colin Udoh of SuperSports in Nigeria said.

Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain ranked fourth after scoring twice in his team’s 5-0 rout of Lazio at the weekend.

Paul Pogba is fifth, after his penalty helped Juventus to a 2-0 victory at Genoa, its first Serie A win of the season.

Thomas Mueller, Mauro Icardi, Yunus Malli, Arturo Vidal and Kurt Zouma complete the top 10 players of the week.

Bayern Munich won team of the week for two 3-0 victories, against Olympiakos and Darmstadt.

Chelsea is second after getting back to winning ways, beating Maccabi Tel Aviv 4-0 in the Champions League and Arsenal 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.

Borussia Dortmund, which is above Bayern in the German Bundesliga on goal difference, polls third for defeating Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 and winning 2-1 against Krasnodar in the Europa League.

Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel was singled out for praise by Tito Puccetti of ESPN in Argentina.

“The Thomas Tuchel machine at Borussia Dortmund continues destroying defenses,” Puccetti said. “In 11 games, Dortmund has 11 wins with 39 goals for and nine against in all competitions.”

Messi’s Barcelona ranks fourth after starting its defense of the Champions League with a 1-1 draw against Roma before beating Levante.

Real Madrid is fifth after edging Granada 1-0 in the Spanish league after thrashing Donetsk.

West Ham, Juventus, Napoli, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid round out the top 10 teams of the week.


AP Global Football 10:


1. Lionel Messi, 98 points.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo, 86.

3. Anthony Martial, 82.

4. Gonzalo Higuain, 64.

5. Paul Pogba, 60.

6. Thomas Mueller, 43.

7. Mauro Icardi, 38.

8. Yunus Malli, 30.

9. Arturo Vidal, 28.

10. Kurt Zouma, 25.


1. Bayern Munich, 101.

2. Chelsea, 88.

3. Borussia Dortmund, 82.

4. Barcelona, 76.

5. Real Madrid, 73.

6. West Ham, 67.

7. Juventus, 65.

8. Napoli, 56.

9. Inter Milan, 44.

10. Atletico Madrid, 36.

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