Found August 20, 2013 on Fox Sports:
Quotes from voters in this week's AP Global football poll: ---- Richard Winton, The Herald, Scotland. ''Barcelona and Manchester United were particularly rampant, but two German clubs shared the spotlight once again. This time, though, it was Wolfsburg and TSG Hoffenheim who outshone Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund with thumping victories. After a summer dominated by the fates of familiar faces, new talents shone on the opening weekend. Emmanuel Riviere was in stunning form for Monaco, while the unheralded Twente duo of Luc Castaignos and Quincy Promes also caught the eye in their side's 6-0 thrashing of Utrecht.'' --- Mark Rodden, Paris-based Irish football writer. ''Gerardo Martino got off to a flying start at Barcelona by watching his side hammer Levante. Six of their seven goals came in a scintillating first-half display and the scary thing for the rest of La Liga is that the new Barca manager thinks there is plenty of room for improvement. Manchester United edge out City in the rankings because they started life without Alex Ferguson by making a difficult away trip look easy. Van Persie once again showed why he's ahead of wantaway striker Wayne Rooney at Manchester United, scoring an acrobatic opening goal at Swansea before adding another breathtaking finish in the second half. At Barcelona there's a new star striker, Neymar, in town but Lionel Messi demonstrated that he is still the top dog with two goals and an assist. Special mention goes to Ochoa, the Mexican goalkeeper was sensational as unfancied Ajaccio somehow earned a point against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes.'' --- Julian Bennetts, Hayters news agency, England. ''Hoffenheim caught the eye with a 5-1 win at Hamburg, while Juventus won the Italian Super Cup in quite comprehensive style against Lazio. The performance of the week came in France, where Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was in sensational form against PSG. The hosts had 33 shots to one from the visitors, but the final score was 1-1 thanks to the goalkeeper. Astonishing.'' --- Mike McGrath, Wardles news agency/The Sun. ''Barcelona must get team of the week for scoring seven times but the individual performance that stood out was Robin van Persie's against Swansea. He is looking to be the difference for Manchester United again, just like last season.'' --- James Thorogood, Bundesliga.com, Germany. ''Hoffenheim, having survived last season by the skin of their teeth, was nothing short of spectacular as they tore Hamburg apart in a 5-1 drubbing on the back of Roberto Firmino's inspirational display.'' --- Alejandro Cisternas, El Mercurio, Chile. ''It was an impressive start from both Manchester United and City, beginning what seems to be a wonderful title fight. Juventus made a strong impression too in Supercup and Barcelona won in great style.'' --- Sam Tighe, Bleacher Report, United States. ''Lionel Messi put any lingering injury concerns behind him in a stunning performance against Levante. His finishing and movement was sublime, but his underrated passing skills really came to the fore, too. Robin van Persie has started as he intends to carry on, while Roberto Firmino was instrumental in Hoffenheim's truly shocking demolition of Hamburg away from home.'' --- James Porteous, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong. ''New season, same old Barca as they began the defense of their title with the most eye-catching result of the weekend a 7-0 hammering of Levante, whose defense admittedly put up about as much resistance as a soaked piece of tissue paper. Six up at half time, Gerardo Martino had the luxury of allowing the superb Leo Messi to clock off early. Real were less impressive, but new signing Isco showed his potential value this season with the winning goal. In France, Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa deserves a mention for almost single-handedly keeping PSG at bay until Edinson Cavani struck late to secure a 1-1 draw.'' --- Tom Timmermann, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, United States. ''Barcelona sent a message with its opening match: get out of our way. Come to think of it, Manchester United may have sent the same message, even if they looked a little hesitant at the start. Van Persie's goals were outstanding and broke open a tight game that wasn't always going Man United's way in the early going against Swansea. The only reason I put him ahead of Messi was that he did it against better opposition.'' --- Ubiratan Leal, ESPN, Brazil. ''Barcelona needed a statement, a great result to show everybody - I mean Real Madrid - it still is the world's strongest team. It was important also for Tata Martino get early confidence from the Catalan media. Robin van Persie still set the pace in the Premier League. He led Manchester United's convincing victory in Swansea, usually a tough host.'' --- Shuichi Tamura, football analyst, Japan. ''With a new coach, Barcelona rediscovered the strength it has under Pep Guardiola and Manchester United enjoyed a similar boost. At Bayern Munich, it's going to take Guardiola a while to make his philosophy understood by the whole team.'' --- Peter Linden, Kronen Zeitung, Austria. ''Barcelona, starting the season with a 7-0 score after leading 6-0 at halftime, is a demonstration of power. Manchester United showed no weaknesses during the debut of new manager David Moyes, and immediately mastered the competition with a 4-1 win in Swansea.'' --- Marco Monteverde, News Corp. Australia. ''Barcelona made a huge statement of intent at the start of their La Liga title defense by thrashing Levante 7-0, and the scary thing is that Neymar was merely a bit-part player.''
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