Bayern Munich, Ribery top weekly AP poll
Bayern Munich received 166 points out of a possible 170 to top this week's Associated Press global soccer poll.
Franck Ribery, who scored twice for Munich in the 7-0 victory over Werder Bremen, was first in the player vote, 33 points ahead of second-place Luis Suarez.
"Is there no limit to the capabilities of this Bayern Munich's side? Already European champions, their development has been accelerated under Pep Guardiola's stewardship," Richard Winton of The Herald in Scotland said. "It is almost feasible to suggest that retaining the Champions League is a given."
Ribery's performance is a timely reminder of his Ballon d'Or credentials, with his scoring coming as FIFA announced the France international has made the shortlist alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Ribery showed how his individual brilliance oftentimes drives the well-oiled, winning machine that is Bayern Munich," James Thorogood of Bundesliga.com in Germany said. "He celebrated his return from injury by playing the pivotal role in his side's 7-0 thrashing of their northern counterparts."
Suarez enjoyed an impressive week. He scored five times in two games, with four of the goals coming in Liverpool's 5-1 win over Norwich on Wednesday. That followed by a 4-1 victory over West Ham, putting Liverpool third in the club rankings.
"Liverpool may not be in the lead in the EPL, but their form looks the best right now, and they look to have a level of consistency others haven't. Or maybe it's just Luis Suarez," Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said.
Bayer Leverkusen was second, 61 points behind Bayern and five ahead of Liverpool after its 1-0 win at Borussia Dortmund. Son Heung-min scored the decisive goal in the 18th minute and is tied for eighth in the player poll alongside Arsenal forward Mesut Ozil.
Everton is fourth in the club vote with 83 points after beating Manchester United and former manager David Moyes 1-0 at Old Trafford and drawing 1-1 at Premier League leader Arsenal.
Mario Balotelli is fifth in the player vote after a late free kick against Livorno saved a point for AC Milan.
AP Global 10 rankings, week ending Dec.10:
1. Franck Ribery, 155 points.
2. Luis Suarez, 122.
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 103.
4. Arturo Vidal, 53.
5. Mario Balotelli, 37.
6. Gervinho, 32.
7. Goran Pandev, 29.
8. Mesut Ozil, 27.
(tie) Son Heung-min, 27.
10. Eden Hazard, 23.
1. Bayern Munich, 166 points.
2. Bayer Leverkusen, 105.
3. Liverpool, 100.
4. Everton, 83.
5. Juventus, 77.
6. Paris-Saint Germain, 68.
7. Roma, 65.
8. Newcastle, 52.
9. Vitesse, 35.
10. Arsenal, 25.