LONDON (AP) — Quotes from panelists voting in the AP Global Soccer 10 poll for the week ending Nov. 19.
Tom Timmermann, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, United States "I want to get Fiorentina into my top 10, but I also wanted to get Man City in and for that I needed two teams to deem themselves worthy of falling out. Only Schalke 04 made the case, so Fiorentina hangs on the fringe. Even with losses, I'm sticking with Chelsea and Man Utd in the 3-4 spots. But they've been warned. How can you not go with Ibrahimovic? As much as Messi did, I'll never get another chance to vote for something like that. Messi gets my vote 24 out of 25 weeks. This time, I salute a tremendous effort, and a pretty good game regardless."
Aurelio Capaldi, RAI Sport, Italy "Lyon moved top of the Ligue 1 with a convincing victory over Reims and they made the most of their title contenders' defeats. Zlatan Ibrahimovic's stunning overhead kick against England gives him the top spot and Stephan El Shaarawy is now the top scorer in Serie A. He scored for Italy against France, rescued AC Milan in Naples with a double and is proving an impressive 20-year-old performer."
Mike McGrath, Wardles news agency/The Sun, England "Zlatan deserves it this week for his four goals for Sweden, including his amazing scissor-kick. It was a performance that eclipsed anything in domestic football the following weekend."
Will Tidey, Bleacher Report, United States "It's hard to look beyond Zlatan after his virtuoso performance and video game golazo for Sweden against England. Barca have scored 20 goals in their last five Liga matches. Tito Vilanova's team are cruising in Spain."
Julian Bennetts, Hayters news agency, England "West Brom are having a quite astonishing season, and it reached new heights with a fully deserved victory over European champions Chelsea at the Hawthorns on Saturday. In Italy it is hard not to think of Fiorentina as a coming force as they moved into Champions League contention, while Rennes pulled off a superb result as they beat PSG with just nine men in Paris.
"He may have been suspended as his club, PSG, lost at home this weekend, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic's four-goal performance against England in midweek is fully deserving of the top player award this time. The Swede's fourth goal was perhaps the most imaginative, athletic and creative in the game's history - a moment to remember."
James Porteous, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong "His Zlatanness didn't do anything at the weekend, serving a suspension for Zlataning St Etienne's goalkeeper recently, but such was his display against England, and THAT magnificent fourth goal, that I feel he has to take top spot. Messi was his usual excellent self, making one and scoring two against Zaragoza as he homes relentlessly in on Gerd Muller's record of goals scored in a calendar year.
"Team of the week was a tough one, but I've gone for Fiorentina, who won their fifth straight and are seven unbeaten. Al Ahly of Egypt also beat Tunisia's Esperance to become African Champions League winners and book their place at the Club World Cup."
Paolo Condo, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy "It was the underdog week-end in the major European leagues, and my choice rewards the mission impossible of Rennes, which won 9 versus 11 at Parc des Princes. Other big stories are Arsenal Kiev, which interrupted Shakhtar's run of 15 wins, and West Brom, capable of entering the Champions League zone by beating Chelsea.
"Goal of the decade, at least, and so Ibra deserves the leadership in our players poll. Behind him the great renaissance of Benzema and some emerging talents: El Shaarawy, for example, is no longer the best kept secret of Serie A."
Christian Schaetzle, derfussballblogger.de, Germany "Four goals in the 4-2 win over England, plus the bicycle kick from 25 meters for one of the greatest goals of all times."