|Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (AFP-Yonhap News)|
LONDON (AP) ― Cristiano Ronaldo surged to the top of the AP’s latest global soccer rankings on Tuesday, thanks to decisive goals for Real Madrid in La Liga and the Champions League.
Ronaldo was awarded 153 points in the Associated Press survey of 16 global soccer journalists, comfortably beating Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, who earned 82 points, just six ahead of fellow Argentine Carlos Tevez of Manchester City.
“Cristiano Ronaldo’s three goals in two games, one of them against Man United, earn him top honors,” said panelist Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “That beats Carlos Tevez’s four goals in two games, since he got three of them against Barnsley, which isn’t quite the same as scoring against Man U or even Celta Vigo.”
Real Madrid stayed in first place in the team rankings after knocking Manchester United out of the Champions League and climbing into second place in La Liga with a 2-1 victory over Celta Vigo, with Ronaldo scoring both Madrid goals.
Paolo Condo of Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport said scoring at Old Trafford gave Ronaldo the edge.
“It’s easy to say Real Madrid and Ronaldo were the best of the week, but if you win at Old Trafford (and then in La Liga) it’s obvious,” Condo said.
Real earned 151 points out of a possible 160, far ahead of Serie A leader Juventus, which beat Catania at the weekend to stay nine points clear at the top of the league.
The threat of elimination from the Champions League after a 2-0 defeat at AC Milan put the Spanish league leaders Barcelona to fourth position, just ahead of Liverpool and PSG.
Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich stayed third in the rankings after it moved 20 points ahead in the standings with a narrow 3-2 victory over Duesseldorf. Bayern came from 2-1 down to win with an 86th minute goal.
Bundesliga.com writer James Thorogood said Bayern’s class shone through despite pressure from Duesseldorf.