LONDON (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo is the player of the season in The Associated Press weekly football polls after a prolific year in Spain and the Champions League.
Despite failing to defend its Champions League title under Pep Guardiola, Bayern Munich is the top team in the AP Global Football 10 after receiving the most votes throughout the year. Bayern set a German league record of 53 games unbeaten in 2013-14, becoming champions with seven games to spare, and won three other trophies in Guardiola's first season.
Voter Tom Timmermann of U.S. newspaper The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, believes Bayern's Champions League campaign fell apart due to the speed of its domestic success. "They are, very likely, the best team in Europe," Timmermann said. "But once they clinched the Bundesliga title, everything seemed to go on hold.
"All of European soccer would have been well served by a much (more) competitive German league, which would have kept Bayern at the top of its game throughout the season. It may have been the difference between them getting to the Champions League final and not."
Spanish champion Atletico Madrid is runner-up, while Lionel Messi, last year's winner in the player vote, finishes this poll in second place after scoring 28 league goals in 31 games. His Barcelona side is fourth.
The votes were cast throughout the season and before Ronaldo helped Madrid win the Champions League, scoring a record 17th goal in the competition in a single season. He scored 31 in the Spanish league, the same as Liverpool's Luis Suarez in the Premier League, as Madrid finished fifth in the team poll.
Suarez is fourth for his achievement, with Liverpool eighth after its surprise second place finish in the English league.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic beat Suarez to third position by 30 points, after his 30 league goals in France spearheaded Paris Saint-Germain to a second consecutive league title. PSG's points tally of 89 was a new French league record, and the club ninth in the overall team vote.
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