Bayern tops team poll; player vote shared

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By JACK BEZANTS, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Sergio Aguero and Alberto Aquilani shared first place in this week's Associated Press global soccer poll, while Bayern Munich is back on top of the team rankings.

Aguero scored a late hat trick for Manchester City in its 4-2 win over Watford in the FA Cup on Saturday while Aquilani also had a hat trick for Fiorentina in a 3-3 tie with Genoa. Both received 111 votes in the player poll.

The Argentine forward was sidelined for a month with an injured calf and has six goals in four games since returning to Manuel Pellegrini's team.

"Some players take time to get back into their stride after being injured. Not Sergio Aguero," Richard Jolly of ESPN said. "Manuel Pellegrini believes only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are better footballers than his on-fire forward and, at times, you can see why."

Panel member Leonardo Bertozzi of ESPN Brazil believes Aquilani's performances will boost his chance of selection to Italy's World Cup roster.

"An unexpected hat trick from Aquilani made him the big name for Fiorentina. It's good for the midfielder, who hopes to join the Italian team that will be in Brazil in June," Bertozzi said.

Munich earned 133 votes after beating Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0 to open a 10-point lead in the Bundesliga.

Mario Goetze opened the scoring after seven minutes and has been selected third with 71 votes.

Barcelona is second in the team poll at 96 after beating Levante 4-1 and Malaga 3-0. Lionel Messi did not score in either but is ranked ninth on 24 after providing several assists in the two games. Pedro, scorer of the second goal against Malaga, is 10th, a point behind Messi.

"I'm sensing a Messi-inspired rise from Barcelona coming soon," Tom Timmermann of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said. "Messi didn't score, but he had everything to do with Barcelona's two wins last week."

Roma is third with 89 votes after closing the gap with Serie A-leading Juventus to six points with a 3-1 win at Verona. Gervinho scored Roma's second and is fifth in the player vote with 60 points.

An Arda Turan-inspired Atletico Madrid, second to Barcelona in La Liga on goal difference, is fifth this week with 82 votes after its 4-2 win over Rayo Vallecano. Turan, who scored twice for Atletico, has been voted the fourth best player of the week with 68 points.

Atheltic Bilao is seventh after a 5-1 victory at Osasuna.

Brazilian midfielder Oscar is eighth after scoring on an impressive free kick for Chelsea as it beat Stoke 1-0 in the FA Cup. Jose Mourinho's Blues are 10th in the club poll.

Monaco, missing injured forward Radamel Falcao, beat Marseille 2-0 and is eighth.

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