Ibrahimovic & Bayern Munich top AP soccer poll
LONDON -- Bayern Munich has taken team of the week honors in The Associated Press global soccer poll for the fifth time this season. The team followed up its 2-0 win at Arsenal in the Champions League with a 4-0 rout at Hannover.
After scoring five times in two games this week, Zlatan Ibrahimovic tops the player vote for the first time this season. Ibrahimovic's Paris Saint-Germain polled second in the team vote after winning 4-0 at Bayer Leverkusen and 4-2 at Toulouse.
"In this moment, Ibrahimovic is the best player in the world," Paolo Condo of Gazetta dello Sport said. "It's a pity he will not run for this title next summer in Brazil, because this is the best Zlatan ever."
Munich has two players in the top 10 after its two formidable displays. Attacker Thomas Mueller was third, after scoring once against Arsenal and twice at Hannover, while Toni Kroos, who opened the scoring in London, was ninth.
"Toni Kroos completed more passes than the entire Arsenal midfield in the Champions League and his goal in that match once again proved that he is one of the sweetest strikers of a ball in world football," Mark Rodden of Eurosport in France said.
Striker Daniel Sturridge was the runner-up to Ibrahimovic, after his two goals helped Liverpool to a 4-3 win over Swansea on Sunday. Sturridge, who scored for the eighth successive English Premier League game, was joined in the top 10 by Liverpool and England teammate Jordan Henderson, who also scored twice while his club polled ninth.
"Daniel Sturridge is in elite company after joining Ruud van Nistelrooy as the only player to score in eight successive Premier League games," Richard Jolly of ESPN said. "He is a guarantee of goals, most of them crucial."
Juventus was fourth after a 2-0 Europa League victory against Turkish club Trabzonspor was followed by winning the Turin derby against Torino 1-0. Carlos Tevez, who scored the winner, was also fourth in the player vote.
Real Sociedad and Antoine Greizmann were both fifth, after pulling off a surprise victory by beating Barcelona 3-1 in La Liga over the weekend. Osasuna's 3-0 triumph over Atletico Madrid ranked sixth.
"Real Sociedad ripped Barcelona apart in shocking fashion this weekend, making them look as ordinary as Bayern Munich did in the Champions League last season," Sam Tighe of Bleacher Report said. "Some blame Gerardo Martino's rotation policy, but this sort of beating has been looming for a while."
The combined results helped Real Madrid step three points ahead at the top of La Liga after beating Elche 3-0. Gareth Bale scored Madrid's second, a swerving strike from long range, and he was seventh this week.
Elsewhere, Olivier Giroud was a point ahead of Bale in sixth after scoring twice in Arsenal's 4-1 Premier League win over Sunderland. Chelsea was sixth after it beat Everton 1-0 to remain Premier League leader thanks to a late goal by John Terry, who made a rare appearance in 10th. Hamburg, threatened with relegation from the Bundesliga, was eighth after beating Borussia Dortmund 3-0 away.
AP Global Soccer 10 rankings (week ending Feb. 25)
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 167 points.
2. Daniel Sturridge, 101.
3. Thomas Mueller, 92.
4. Carlos Tevez, 73.
5. Antoine Griezmann, 63.
6. Olivier Giroud, 48.
7. Gareth Bale, 47.
8. Jordan Henderson, 38.
9. Toni Kroos, 33.
10. John Terry, 28.
1. Bayern Munich, 167.
2. Paris Saint-Germain, 143.
3. Real Madrid, 104.
4. Juventus, 90.
5. Real Sociedad, 81.
6. Osasuna, 68.
7. Chelsea, 60.
8. Hamburg, 56.
9. Liverpool, 52.
10. Arsenal, 33.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press
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