Luis Suarez's dismantling of Athletic enough to top 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. Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Athletic Club put up little fight in Sunday's 6-0 battering at the hands of Barcelona, but Suarez's hat trick plus a further assist deserve special praise. Of the five goals the Blaugrana scored from open play, the Uruguayan was directly responsible for four of them.
2. Paulo Dybala (Juventus)
The title race in Serie A appears to be on as Napoli and Juventus begin to eke out an advantage over third-placed Inter. The Bianconeri have much to applaud Dybala for, as the Argentine has been the catalyst around which the team has ignited. The Argentine scored two and picked up two more assists in the champions' 4-0 rout of Udinese on Sunday.
3. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Manchester City's 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace on Saturday dragged Manuel Pellegrini's men within a point of Leicester City and Arsenal atop the Premier League table. City owe much of their weekend performance to Aguero, who chipped in two goals and an assist -- choosing to feed David Silva for a tap-in on City's fourth rather than completing his hat trick.
4. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Benzema scored himself a brace (and probably should have made it a hat trick, had he not flubbed his lines early on) and set up a further strike before hobbling off in the 65th minute. Imagine what he could've done in the final 25 minutes.
5. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Barcelona may have a game in hand over its rivals, but Atletico Madrid remain atop the La Liga table, two points clear of the Catalan giants. Griezmann's pair of goals vs. Las Palmas ensured that the capital club remain out front for at least another week.
6. Neymar (Barcelona)
While Suarez stole the show at the Camp Nou on Sunday, Neymar deserves a fair bit of recognition, too. The Brazilian bagged a goal for himself and set up two further strikes as Barcelona demonstrated their superiority.
7. Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli)
No one has more goals in Europe's top five leagues than Higuain. The Argentine's brace vs. Sassuolo ensured he kept pace with Suarez scoring for fun for Barcelona, and the Napoli man's third consecutive week on this recurring list speaks to the consistency of his goal-scoring exploits.
THE BEST OF ESPN FC
- Bell: Liverpool fans make themselves heard
- Cox: Leicester improving | Why Poch should stay
- Okwonga: Man United's market | City's title hopes
- Laurens: PSG's pre-UCL issues | Hertha's curse
- Highlights (U.S. only): Stuttgart 1-3 BVB
- FC TV: Champions League W2W4 | LVG wrong
- News | Transfer | Toe Poke | Fantasy | FC TV | Podcast | MLS
8. David De Gea (Manchester United)
De Gea had to make four saves at Anfield on Sunday to pick up his eighth clean sheet in the Premier League this season. His reaction save on Emre Can's second-half effort was sensational on its own, but the Spaniard's recovery to deny Firmino a goal from the rebound was nothing short of the world-class 'keeping we've come to expect from De Gea.
9. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Rooney followed up his two-goal-one-assist performance vs. Newcastle by bagging the winner vs. rivals Liverpool on Sunday. It's no coincidence that the England captain's form has coincided with an uptick in drive from Manchester United.
10. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Sporting Gijon surely must have thought they were about to be on the end of a double-digit walloping after Ronaldo bagged his second of the game after just 18 minutes, by which point Real Madrid were already up 4-0. Thankfully for the Asturian side, the full-time score was a more flattering 5-1 defeat.
Also receiving votes: Gareth Bale, Christian Eriksen, Carlos Bacca, Hatem Ben Arfa, Kevin Gameiro, Jan Oblak.