The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Bayern Munich top of AP Global Football 10; Aguero, Aquilani tied top of player vote
LONDON - Sergio Aguero and Alberto Aquilani shared first place in this week's Associated Press global football poll, while Bayern Munich is back on top of the team rankings.
Aguero scored a late hat trick for Manchester City in its 4-2 win over second tier Watford in the FA Cup on Saturday.
The Argentina striker was out for a month with an injured calf but has scored six goals in four games since returning to Manuel Pellegrini's team.
"Some players take time to get back into their stride after being injured. Not Sergio Aguero," Richard Jolly of ESPN said. "Manuel Pellegrini believes only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are better footballers than his on-fire forward and, at times, you can see why."
As for Aquilani, who grabbed a hat trick in Fiorentina's 3-3 draw with Genoa, panel member Leonardo Bertozzi of ESPN Brazil believes his performances will boost his chances of being named in Italy's World Cup squad.
"An unexpected hat trick from Aquilani made him the big name for Fiorentina. It's good for the midfielder, who hopes to join the Italian team that will be in Brazil in June," Bertozzi said.
Munich earned 133 votes after beating Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0 to move 10 points clear in the Bundesliga, with a game in hand on second placed Bayer Leverkusen.
Mario Goetze opened the scoring after seven minutes and has been voted into third with 71 votes.
Barcelona is second in the team poll on 96 after beating Levante 4-1 midweek and Malaga 3-0 on Sunday. Lionel Messi did not score in either but is ranked ninth on 24 after providing several assists over the two games. Pedro, scorer of the second against Malaga, is tenth, a point behind Messi.
"I'm sensing a Messi-inspired rise from Barcelona coming soon," Tom Timmermann of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said. "Messi didn't score, but he had everything to do with Barcelona's two wins last week."
Roma has polled third, seven behind Barcelona on 89, after closing the gap on Juventus at the top of Serie A to six points with an impressive 3-1 away win against Verona.
Gervinho scored Roma's second and is fifth in the player vote with 60 points.
An Arda Turan-inspired Atletico Madrid, second to Barcelona in La Liga on goal difference, is fifth this week with 82 votes after its 4-2 win over Rayo Vallecano.
Turan, who scored twice for Atletico, has been voted the fourth best player of the week with 68 points.
Elsewhere, Atheltic Bilao is seventh after another high-scoring win, this time a 5-1 away thrashing of Osasuna.
Brazil midfielder Oscar is eighth after scoring a magnificent free kick for Chelsea as it beat Stoke 1-0 in the FA Cup, a result that sees Jose Mourinho's side tenth in the club poll. Monaco proved it can cope without injured striker Radamel Falcao, as it beat Marseille 2-0, and is eighth.
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(1 of 5 articles for today)03/9/2014 1:08 AM 0