LONDON (AP) – Lionel Messi's four-goal burst has ensured that he and Barcelona return to the top of the Associated Press Global Soccer rankings this week.
The romance of England's FA Cup has produced some unlikely names in the Top 10 teams and a previously unknown striker at No. 9.
Thirteeen out of 18 panelists placed Messi at No. 1 on their list of Top 10 players, with Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo in second place. With 10 points for the top position, Messi earned 176 points, followed by Ronaldo with 159.
Sampdoria striker Mauro Icardi, a 19-year-old Argentine who is becoming a fixture in the AP Top 10 as one of the most promising players in European club soccer, is third with 90 points.