LONDON (AP) — Paolo Condo, Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy.
"The ranking involves this week not only the weekend clash for national championships and cups, but also the first four first legs of the Champions League round of 16. So, I really appreciated the pride and the strength of (Borussia) Dortmund and Manchester United, able to achieve a good draw in the home of their opponents. I should have loved to mention Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, too, but losing in the next domestic match was not a good sign of readiness for the top. Coming from the world down under I'm happy to say welcome back to (David) Trezeguet and his River Plate, top of the Argentine chart. But the growth of Marco Reus is the real headline of the week all over the world."
James Thorogood, Bundesliga.com, Germany. "Other players may have stolen the headlines for Dortmund this week, but Mario Goetze was the orchestrator extraordinaire against both Shakhtar Donetsk and Eintracht Frankfurt. The highly-rated 20-year-old coupled strength and industry with his renowned technical ability, ensuring that his creative streak provided a constant threat and an unsolvable problem for both backlines. Marco Reus - If Goetze was the director though, then Marco Reus, a perpetual motion machine in his own right, was the leading man in Dortmund's successes this week. The 14-time German international stood out from the crowd against Frankfurt courtesy of his first hat trick as a BVB player. Borussia Dortmund top the pile on account of twice overcoming adversity this week."
Will Tidey, Bleacher Report, United States. "Marco Reus. Dortmund's precocious playmaker made up for the absence of suspended Robert Lewandowski with a hat trick against Eintract Frankfurt. All three goals were finished with a flourish. A Francesco Totti special fizzed past Gianluigi Buffon to give Roma victory against Juventus. The veteran Italian icon has still got it. Apparently he's only 5,000-1 to become the new Pope."
Julian Bennetts, Hayters news agency, England. "Gareth Bale really is a quite astonishing footballer. There can be no doubt that the Welshman is fulfilling his talent, and his two free kicks against Lyon ensured his was the most impressive performance of the week. Lionel Messi did what he always does, and Francesco Totti was superb against Juventus. There were some other superb individual performances in both Italy and Germany, and Blackburn goalkeeper Jake Kean deserves praise as his side shocked Arsenal in the FA Cup.
"Roma have endured a tough time recently, but their victory over Juventus hinted at better prospects ahead." Soeren-Mikael Hansen, Politiken, Denmark "Second half of the Champions League season kicked off with a magnificent display of football at its best in (Real) Madrid leading to an obvious dominance in both rankings. Otherwise, European challenges looked to bring out the best in lesser exposed teams like Czech Republic's Plsen and Russia's Rubin Kazan."
John Duerden, Asian football writer, South Korea. "David De Gea helped to keep Manchester United well and truly alive. Strangely for a Spanish team, Real (Madrid) played to his strengths and were reminded just what a good shot-stopper he is. Cristiano Ronaldo's truly stunning header gets better with each viewing. Came at just the right time although his team could not build on it and get the result they perhaps deserved."
Orfeo Suarez Gonzalez, El Mundo, Spain. Best week for the goalkepeers, with De Gea as the man of the match in the Bernabeu against Cristiano and Co. Diego Alves gives a big performance in Valencia, in La Liga, and Willy Cavallero for Malaga. The Argentine is in form to make it to the national team. Totti returns as the hero after scoring against leader Juve. Messi never disappears: two more goals taking him to 301 with Barca."
Tom Timmermann, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, United States. "One of my guiding principles is to put a lot of importance on how a team does in Champions League matches, so it was nice to get that started up again. And I was feeling pretty good about moving up Juventus to No. 4 last week and keeping PSG at 10 after their favorable midweek results. And then both went back to league play on the weekend and lost. Oh well. Fortunately for them, their Champions League results outweighed their league results, so they're positions didn't change much. Even with a tie, I skipped Borussia Dortmund over Juventus, which dropped only a spot on my ballot. Atletico Madrid drops from 6 to 8 after its 2-0 loss to FK Rubin Kazan. Napoli fell out of my top 10 after losing 3-0 to Viktoria Plzen in the Europa League action, which it followed up with a tie at home against Sampdoria. No goals in two games at home? Not in my top 10. Tottenham, which has been here before, now holds the tenuous No. 10 spot. Reus' hat trick against a solid Eintracht Frankfurt team is enough to get him into the top spot ahead of Messi, who got only two goals despite some of his best teammates resting up for this week's Champions League match."
Filip Bondy, New York Daily News, United States. "Messi, another day, another milestone. Bale is on an incredible run right now for Tottenham, and for Wales. His direct kicks are now every bit as deadly as David Beckham's, but he also has the mobility and power that Beckham lacked. Spurs won't hold on to him for long. David De Gea is now living up to that contract. He's not the most physically intimidating presence in goal, but his acrobatic saves against Real Madrid may well become the difference in that Champions League series, once the aggregate score is totaled."