Van Persie tops AP player poll, Barcelona top team

August 20, 2013 - 11:36 AM
Britain Soccer Premier League

Manchester United's Robin van Persie, left, and Swansea City's Jose Alberto Canas battle for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea, England, Saturday August 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Nick Potts, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

LONDON (AP) — Robin van Persie held off last year's winner Lionel Messi to earn player of the week honors in the first round of The Associated Press global soccer poll.

Both players scored twice, but Van Persie's acrobatic volley and long-range goal in Manchester United's 4-1 win over Swansea in the Premier League gave the Dutchman the edge over Messi by 10 points.

Monaco forward Emmanuel Riviere, who scored his first career hat trick in the 4-1 win over Montpellier in the French league, finished third.

Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas took fourth place after being instrumental in Barcelona's 7-0 thrashing of Levante in the Spanish league.

Barcelona won 221 of 230 points to finish in front of United, Chelsea, Juventus and Monaco in the team poll.