Barcelona, Messi top season-ending AP global poll

Updated 30 May 2013
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Barcelona, Messi top season-ending AP global poll

LONDON: Despite failing to win European football’s top prize, Barcelona came out as the top team this season in The Associated Press global football poll.
And with 60 goals in all competitions, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi earned 66 votes more than Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo to top the season-end player rankings.
“Messi’s supreme form until getting injured near the end of the season — a key factor in Barca’s exit from Europe — means he is a more obvious standout for player of the year, especially as Bayern’s success was built more on team and squad depth rather than one outstanding individual,” said panelist James Porteous of the South China Morning Post.
Barcelona has already regained the Spanish league title from Madrid and is on course this weekend to match its rival’s milestone of 100 points from the previous campaign.
The Spanish clubs both exited the Champions League in the semifinals, but Saturday’s winner, Bayern Munich, was four points behind Barcelona in the AP tally of votes since the poll launched in October.
In the first all-Bundesliga Champions League final on Saturday, Munich secured a 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund, which was sixth in the rankings.
Arjen Robben scored the decisive goal at Wembley Stadium, a year after missing a penalty in Bayern’s shootout loss to Chelsea in the final.
“I’m a little surprised Barca edged out Bayern, given the Germans’ domestic dominance and Champions League win, but Barca were hugely impressive before falling to Bayern in the semifinals,” Porteous said.
“In the last six seasons, either Barca or the team that knocked them out have won the Champions League, and with Neymar arriving, they should be strongly placed to win back the European title.”
The 21-year-old Neymar has signed a five-year deal to join Barca from Brazilian club Santos.
Bayern will be led next season by former Barca coach Pep Guardiola when his yearlong sabbatical ends to replace Jupp Heynckes, who also won the Bundesliga this season with a record points haul.
“Jupp Heynckes must be given lots of credit ... he led Bayern Munich to a fantastic season, made the right choices, kept total control of the team even though the news of his replacement broke in the middle of the season,” said voter Aurelio Capaldi from Italian broadcaster RAI Sport.
“(It’s) hard, very hard, for Guardiola to do better than this.”
No teams from outside of Europe made the top 10 in the end-of-season tally of votes.
Manchester United earned third place, ahead of trophyless Real Madrid, after Alex Ferguson ended almost 27 years in charge by winning a 13th Premier League title.
The leading Premier League player was the striker whose 26 goals helped to secure the title for United — with Robin van Persie third in the rankings, a point ahead of Tottenham attacker Gareth Bale.
AP Global Football end-of-season rankings
10 points for first, nine for second, etc.

Teams:
1. Barcelona, 199 points
2. Bayern Munich, 195
3. Manchester United, 157
4. Real Madrid, 139
5. Juventus, 127
6. Borussia Dortmund, 103
7. Paris Saint-Germain, 74
8. Chelsea, 65
9. Manchester City, 62
10. Atletico Madrid, 45.
Players:
1. Lionel Messi, 191 points
2. Cristiano Ronaldo, 125
3. Robin van Persie, 67
4. Gareth Bale, 66
5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 53
6. Edinson Cavani, 49
(tie) Robert Lewandowski, 49
8. Radamel Falcao, 47
9. Luis Suarez, 37
10. Mario Balotelli, 30


Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards

Updated 23 April 2018
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Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards

  • Egyptian superstar currently has 30 Premier League goals this season
  • Salah beat the likes of De Bruyne and Kane to the award

LONDON: Mohamed Salah was crowned the Premier League’s Players’ Player of the Year on Sunday, with his incredible 41-goal debut season at Liverpool beating out strong competition from Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne.
“It’s a big honor. I’ve worked hard and I’m very happy to win it,” Salah said at the ceremony on Sunday evening.
Salah matched a Premier League record tally for a single season by scoring his 31st league goal of the campaign in a 2-2 draw at West Brom on Saturday.
“You’re comparing your name with some great names,” he said, on the prospect of breaking the record. “To break the Premier League record is something huge in England and all over in the world.
“There are still three games to go. I want to break this record.”
Salah has also netted seven times in eight Champions League games, including in both legs of Liverpool’s 5-1 quarter-final thrashing of City, to carry his side to a first semifinal for a decade.
De Bruyne showed why he had been many people’s early-season favorite for the prize with an incredible long-range strike for his 12th goal of the season to go with a league-high number of assists as champions City thrashed Swansea 5-0 on Sunday.
“From my point of view when you are analizing 10 months, there is no player better than him,” said City manager Pep Guardiola of the Belgian midfielder.
“Maybe there are numbers better but for me he was the best. But it is my opinion, the opinions of the players could be different. But in the end, in summer time he will be at home being champion.”
City did pick up a prize from the PFA gala in central London on Sunday, though, as Leroy Sane won the Young Player of the Year.
Sane, another City team-mate David Silva, De Bruyne, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea and Tottenham striker Harry Kane were the other five nominees for the main prize.