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Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona top AP's inaugural soccer poll

Lionel Messi Argentine forward Lionel Messi was the AP's top rated soccer player, and his team, FC Barcelona, the number one club according to a panel of 18 international writers. (Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP)

The Associated Press released its first global soccer rankings on Tuesday, and Lionel Messi was the top rated player, and and his club, FC Barcelona, the number 1 team. The rankings took into account performances for the week ending Oct. 29.

The rankings are determined by a panel of 18 international writers. Each panelist chooses 10 teams and players; 10 points are awarded for each first-place vote and one point is awarded for a 10th-place vote. Messi received 140 points out of the possible 180, 29 points ahead of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo in second place. Messi scored two goals in Barcelona's 5-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

"Shame on Messi," said Filip Bondy, a panelist who writes for the New York Daily News. "He scored only twice. At this rate, he'll only be the best player in the world…forever."
The top three play in Spain--Atletico Madrid's striker, Radamel Falcao was third with 79 points--and all ten play for European clubs. All of the top teams are European also. Atletico Madrid came in second with 109 points and Manchester United was close behind with 105 points.

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