LONDON (AP) — Bayern Munich was voted top team by the AP's panel of global football journalists in the week the German team won the Bundesliga in record time.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi dropped out of the top 10 players for the first time, getting the 11th most votes. Messi was injured in Barcelona's Champion's League game against PSG last week, although he had already scored before he injured his hamstring.
Another Barcelona player, Cesc Fabregas, was voted top player of the week after he replaced Messi and scored a hat trick against Real Mallorca in La Liga at the weekend. Fabregas earned 154 points out of a possible 180 from the panel of 18 voters.
"No Messi, no problem," Will Tidey of the San Francisco-based Bleacher Report, said. "Fabregas helped himself to a hat trick as Barcelona thumped Mallorca 5-0."
Fabregas beat Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger into second. Schweinsteiger received 112 votes and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo was equal third on 63 points with Atalanta's German Denis, who scored a hat trick in the 4-3 victory over Inter Milan at the weekend.
Julian Bennetts of Hayters news agency in England said Fabregas enjoyed himself in Messi's absence, "scoring his first ever hat trick in Barcelona's demolition of Mallorca, while his close friend and former Arsenal teammate Tomas Rosicky scored twice to help his club to a vital victory."
Rosicky finished seventh.
Schweinsteiger scored in Bayern's 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday that clinched the Bundesliga title with six rounds left in the season. That came after Bayern beat Juventus 2-0 at home in a convincing display in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal.
"After missing the penalty that lost Bayern Munich the Champions League final on their home turf, it seemed fitting that Bastian Schweinsteiger should score the goal that won the Bavarians their 23rd German national title," panelist James Thorogood of Bundesliga.com said. "The midfield maestro was at his imperious best both against Juventus, against whom he set up David Alaba's opening goal, and in Frankfurt where he covered more ground than any other player on the pitch (12.4 kilometers), boasted the most touches (106) and completed 93 percent of his passes in another world class performance."
Barcelona's struggling forward Alexis Sanchez was in fifth place with 56 points, one ahead of Paris Saint-Germain's Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic was seventh with 48 points. The Montenegro international dropped his shorts to celebrate scoring for Juventus against Pescara at the weekend.
In the team vote, Bayern won 175 out of a possible 180 points, with Real Madrid 20 points behind and Barcelona in third position. PSG, which fought back for a draw against Barca in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal, was fourth with 72 points and Chelsea was fifth after posting three victories in a week.
"Bayern have to be the team of the week, wrapping up the Bundesliga title in record time, and taking a big step towards the Champions League semifinals with their win over Juventus," said James Porteous of the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. "With an exciting young squad, piles of cash building up in the coffers of perhaps the best-run major club in the world and a revitalized Pep Guardiola on his way next season, the next few years of European football could be all about Munich."
AP Global Football Rankings for the week ending April 8.
Based on 18 voters, using 10 points for top to 1 point for bottom place. Previous rankings in parentheses.
1. Bayern Munich, (1), 175 points.
2. Real Madrid, (8), 155.
3. Barcelona, (5), 138.
4. Paris Saint-Germain, (3), 72.
5. Chelsea, 58.
6. Juventus, (2), 53.
7. Borussia Dortmund, (10), 47.
8. Benfica, (7), 33.
9. Napoli, (3), 30.
10. Manchester City, 4, 28.
1. Cesc Fabregas, 154 points.
2. Bastian Schweinsteiger, 112.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo, (7) 63.
(tie) German Denis, 63.
5. Alexis Sanchez, 56.
6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 55.
7. Mirko Vucinic, 48.
8. Tomas Rosicky, 45.
9. Gonzalo Higuain, 44.
10. Mesut Oezil, 42.
11. Lionel Messi, (2), 29.