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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi's hat trick propels him to summit of Player Power Rankings

Each week, ESPN FC's worldwide editorial desks nominate their top 10 performers from the weekend action, and the results are collated into a final Player Power Rankings countdown.

Let us know what you think of the countdown by commenting below or on Twitter using #ESPNFCrankings.

1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Messi did his campaign for an unprecedented fifth Ballon d'Or no harm by netting his 25th career La Liga hat trick vs. Granada on Saturday. The Argentine's triple took his goal tally to 12 in the 11 matches he's played since returning from a knee injury in November.

2. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

If Bale really was "disappointed" by Real Madrid's sacking of Rafa Benitez, he didn't show it on Saturday. The Welshman scored a hat trick vs. Deportivo La Coruna in new boss Zinedine Zidane's debut.

3. Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli)

Not only did Higuain score the eventual winner (in what became a 5-1 rout of Frosinone) and a superb second, but the three points Napoli earned from their trip to Ciociaria vaulted the Ciucciarelli to the top of the Serie A table.

Gonzalo Higuain
Gonzalo Higuain scored twice vs. Frosinone to lead Napoli to the top of the Serie A table.

4. Jonathas (Real Sociedad)

With just 15 minutes remaining, Real Sociedad and Valencia looked destined for a goalless draw. Then Jonathas demonstrated his predatory nature, taking advantage of a Jaume Domenech error to stake La Real to a 1-0 lead before adding a second four minutes later.

5. Kevin Gameiro (Sevilla)

Athletic Bilbao controlled much of Saturday's La Liga contest at Sevilla, but the hosts proved dangerous on the counter, with Gameiro putting them in front midway through the first half. The Frenchman added a second from the spot just shy of the hour mark, and Sevilla never looked back.

6. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)

Griezmann looked to cause Celta Vigo trouble all match long on Sunday, drifting throughout Atletico's attack and grazing the woodwork on the half-hour mark. The Frenchman eventually was rewarded, starting and finishing the move that would lead to Atleti's eventual winner, returning the club to the top of the La Liga table.

7. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Perhaps we shouldn't be so surprised that Benzema scored twice vs. Deportivo in the managerial debut of Zidane -- the striker's compatriot, mentor and friend.

8. Paul Pogba (Juventus)

Pogba has undoubtedly been the rock of Juventus' midfield this term, and that continued on Sunday. What the Frenchman added to his usual display, though, was a brilliantly chested control of a cross for himself to turn for a volleyed shot that tucked into the far corner.

9. Wissam Ben Yedder (Toulouse)

Ben Yedder picked an opportune moment to nab a hat trick, as his Toulouse came from a goal down to top Reims 3-1 on the road, moving up to within a point of safety from the relegation zone.

10. Paulo Dybala (Juventus)

Dybala didn't get on the scoresheet himself on Sunday, but he registered another assist and again demonstrated that his selfless play has made him Juventus' most important attacker.

Also receiving votes: Cedric Bakambu, Christophe Jallet, Maxwell, Islam Slimani, Vincent Aboubakar, Kemar Roofe.


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