Lionel Messi & Barcelona claim controversial victory in AP poll

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Barcelona and Lionel Messi were the controversial winners in the end of season Associated Press poll.

Despite their demolition in the Champions League semi-final, the La Liga winners beat their German conquerors to the top prize by just four points, with Premier League champions Manchester United a long way back in third.

Tito Vilanova has been rewarded for his side’s domestic form, with the 100-point barrier set to be broken with victory in their final game of the season this weekend.

Real Madrid, who failed to win a major trophy under Jose Mourinho this season, came fourth in the rankings, with Serie ‘A’ champions Juventus just behind in fifth.

Losing Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund come sixth ahead of Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, with Europa League winners Chelsea, Premier League runners-up Manchester City and Atletico Madrid completing the top ten teams.

In the individual stakes, it’s Argentine superstar Lionel Messi who has once again beaten Cristiano Ronaldo to top spot, with the Barca playmaker rewarded for his 60 goals in all competitions this season.

Premier League top scorer Robin Van Persie comes third on the list, with Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale one spot further back after a stunning season both domestically and in Europe at White Hart Lane.

PSG hitman Zlatan Ibrahimovic comes in fifth, whilst Premier League targets Edinson Cavani and Robert Lewandowski follow in joint-sixth after fantastic campaigns for Napoli and Dortmund respectively.

Atletico hitman Radamel Falcao is eighth in the individual list, with controversial Liverpool star Luis Suarez in ninth despite a number of misdemeanors at Anfield this term.

Mario Balotelli completes the list, meaning not a single player at Bayern Munich is recognised for their efforts this season despite German football’s rise to prominence in Europe.

AP Global Soccer end-of-season rankings:



1. Barcelona, 199 points

2. Bayern Munich, 195

3. Manchester United, 157

4. Real Madrid, 139

5. Juventus, 127

6. Borussia Dortmund, 103

7. Paris Saint-Germain, 74

8. Chelsea, 65

9. Manchester City, 62

10. Atletico Madrid, 45



1. Lionel Messi, 191 points

2. Cristiano Ronaldo, 125

3. Robin van Persie, 67

4. Gareth Bale, 66

5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 53

6. Edinson Cavani, 49

6. Robert Lewandowski, 49

8. Radamel Falcao, 47

9. Luis Suarez, 37

10. Mario Balotelli, 30

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