AP Global Football 10-Quotebox


MANCHESTER, England (AP) -- Quotes from voters in this week's AP Global football poll.

James Thorogood, Bundesliga.com, Germany.

"Though there was little meaning behind Bayern's 1-1 draw with Dortmund, one moment of significance emerged in the form of Manuel Neuer winning his first psychological battle with Robert Lewandowski by saving the Pole's second half penalty."

Cedric Rouquette, Eurosport, France.

"Bayern Munich. Yet another exceptional performance at the Camp Nou. Undisputed champions of Italy, Juventus will next season be one of Bayern's strongest rivals for the title of European champion."

Julian Bennetts, Hayters news agency, England.

"Scoring five goals in a game means you have to shoot straight to the top of the player of the week poll. We have always known Miroslav Klose has few peers as a finisher, and he demonstrated that in full for Lazio against Bologna on Saturday. Arjen Robben also enjoyed a fine week, while Edinson Cavani's value will only rise after his hat-trick for Napoli against Inter. Juventus and Ajax must also be celebrated - as should the German duo who reached the Champions League Final, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund."

Will Tidey, Bleacher Report, United States.

"After the quad-trick from Robert Lewandowski, came Miroslav Klose's quintuplet of goals against Bologna. He would have scored more but for the curious decision to take him off with 20 minutes or so still left to play. I watched Chelsea beat Basel at Stamford Bridge and Cesar Azpilicueta's maturity at right back really stood out. He also impressed against Manchester United at Old Trafford."

Mike McGrath, Wardles news agency/The Sun.

"Lionel Messi proved just how important he is to Barcelona with his two goals against Real Betis. If he played against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Barca may have had a chance of winning. But his absence meant the German champions could put in a performance to confirm them as the best team in the world at the moment. "

Aurelio Capaldi, Rai Sport, Italy.

"Arturo Vidal was one of the main reasons why Juventus won their second successive serie A title. As well as scoring the winner from the spot against Palermo, he had a fantastic season and gave a huge contribution to the team. He was a key man in Juventus' midfield but became also vital as a goalscorer, converting himself into a special weapon for Antonio Conte. The Chilean midfielder scored 10 goals in serie A (15 including the cups) and always performed at a very high level. Santos goalkeeper Rafael was the hero of his team when they advanced to the final of Brazil's Campeonato Paulista with a dramatic 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Mogi Mirim."

Tom Timmermann, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, United States.

"It's a tricky time for ratings. Bayern and Dortmund didn't really need to win midweek to protect their hard-earned spots, and I continue to be confused about what to do with Man U, which no longer has anything at stake. Come to think of it, fewer and fewer teams at the top of the tables have much to play for. So while we salute Bayern's play (and Barca's, and Juventus' and PSG's), boy would it be nice to have some of the big names playing matches that matter. Instead, it's battles for spots in Europe or to avoid relegation, which isn't quite the same. That being the case, my rankings remain much the same, though if Man U doesn't start trying soon, they're going to be dipping down. And, in acknowledgment of them making the Europa League final, I moved Chelsea into the 10 spot instead of Arsenal. To reiterate a point made earlier this season, if you score five goals in a match in one of the big European leagues, you've got my vote. Messi coming off the bench to score two vs. Real Betis does, as always, get our attention. Gareth Bale had only one goal, but it was very good and extremely timely, given Spurs a badly needed win."

Orfeo Suarez, El Mundo, Spain.

"Bayern's best week over the previous best, Barcelona, with a 7-0 aggregate win. Without Messi, Barça goes down and the situation reveals the great 'Messidependencia'. Player by player, although, none are as good as Hummels and Wendenfeller in the Bernabeu. The goalkeeper was very important in the first minutes, in a face to face against Higuaín and Cristiano Ronaldo. Juventus win the Scudetto, but need to improve to compete in Champions League and Conte knows that. And Chelsea plays already as Benitez wants, just when everyone is talking about the comeback of Mourinho, who is at war in Madrid."