LONDON (AP) — Samuel Eto'o took first place in the Associated Press global football poll this week for his hat trick in Chelsea's 3-1 win over Manchester United.
Eto'o received 190 out of a possible 220 votes, and Chelsea's impressive performance gave them top honors in the team vote with 177. Both are first-time winners in the poll this season.
"Samuel Eto'o turned back time and showed he can still be a force," Marco Monteverde of News Corp Australia said. "The win ... was a title statement that Arsenal and Manchester City must take notice of."
Real Madrid was second in the poll after thrashing Real Betis 5-0 in La Liga, where Madrid was only a point behind co-leaders Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, who could manage only draws at the weekend.
Juventus dropped from first to third in the poll but its relentless winning streak continues to impress the AP panel.
"The Italian league is becoming boring because of the incredible pace of this Juventus run," Paolo Condo of Gazzetta dello Sport said. "Now they are 18-1-1, for the first time in history."
Manchester City was fourth, Paris Saint-Germain fifth, and Premier League leader Arsenal sixth.
Ajax, the Eredivisie leader at ninth, appeared in the poll for only the second this season. The first was in early December.