Messi & Barcelona dominate AP rankings again

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Lionel Messi continued his world football domination with the top rating in the Associated Press Global Soccer Rankings.

The Argentine superstar – fresh from his fourth FIFA Ballon d’Or victory – inspired Barcelona to a 3-1 win at Malaga, scoring one and helping create the other two as Tito Vilanova’s side continue to march towards the La Liga title.

Robin Van Persie, who scored in Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Liverpool, moved up into second place in the rankings, with the duo well clear of Andres Iniesta, James Milner and Cesc Fabregas in the remaining top five places. Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo came in a lowly joint-eighth.

And, in the team ratings, it was another success for Barca, picking up 192 of a possible 200 votes from the 20 journalists who make their choice each week.

Each voter gives 10 points to their top player or team, and then ranks nine others with a sliding scale of points. The team they rank tenth receives one point, and the results are combined to get the definitive list.

Manchester United (158 points) and Manchester City (138) were second and third on the list, with Lazio, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid filling in behind the Premier League title rivals.

Real Madrid, under huge pressure in Spain after a disappointing draw against Osasuna, failed to make the top ten.

Top Ten - players:

1. Lionel Messi, 172 points.
2. Robin Van Persie, 136.
3. Andres Iniesta, 41.
4. James Milner, 40.
5. Cesc Fabregas, 39.
6. Antonio di Natale, 38.
7. Roberto Soldado, 37.
8. Dario Cvitanich, 33.
8. Cristiano Ronaldo, 33.
10. Radamel Falcao, 31.

Top Ten - Teams:

1. Barcelona, 192 points.
2. Manchester United, 158.
3. Manchester City, 138.
4. Lazio, 80.
5. Chelsea, 65.
6. Atletico Madrid, 62.
7. Napoli, 60.
8. Lyon, 57.
9. FC Porto, 28.
10. Real Betis, 27.

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