Associated Press  |  Last updated December 18, 2012
Lionel Messi brushed aside all challengers in the AP Global Soccer rankings this week, although his Barcelona team came close to being topped by new world club champion Corinthians. Messi, with two more goals to his name in La Liga at the weekend for a staggering 90 on the year, received 169 points out of a possible 190 from AP's panel of 19 global football journalists. Corinthians goalkeeper Cassio played a key role in the 1-0 defeat of Chelsea in the Club World Cup final in Japan on Sunday and earned 72 points, two more than Manchester United's Dutch striker Robin van Persie. ''Messi gets two more in the best match in La Liga,'' panelist Orfeo Suarez of Spain's El Mundo newspaper said. ''And Barcelona has 13 points more than Real Madrid.'' After being knocked off the top of the rankings last week by Manchester United, Barcelona was bcck in first place this week, but by just one point over Corinthians. ''The victory over Chelsea in the final of the Club World Cup returned the ...
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