LONDON — Valencia took first place in the first AP Global Football 10 poll of the year on Tuesday after ending Real Madrid's 22-game winning streak over the weekend.
"Valencia have been rebuilding over the last few months, but their win over Real Madrid was a statement, informing the world that they are back and are a force to be reckoned with once again," Julian Bennetts of Hayters news agency in England said. "Under new owner Peter Lim, Valencia can start to dream big again, and it will be fascinating to watch their progress."
"It was an important win for the former Manchester United manager, who is trying rebuild his reputation in Spain after his difficult time at Old Trafford," Aurelio Capaldi of Italian broadcaster RAI Sport said.
Atletico Madrid is third after beating Levante 3-1, but striker Antoine Griezmann was first in the player vote after scoring two of the goals. He finished ahead of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and Otamedeni.
"Antoine Griezmann was the star performer again and his two goals followed on from his hat trick before the winter break," Mike McGrath of The Sun in England said.
Gerrard scored both goals in Liverpool's 2-1 FA Cup win against AFC Wimbledon. The performance followed his announcement that he is leaving the English club at the end of the season to play in Major League Soccer.
Harry Kane is fourth in the poll after leading Tottenham to a 5-3 victory over Chelsea in the Premier League on New Year's Day. Kane scored twice in the match that also put Tottenham into fourth in the team vote.
Behind Kane is Sergio Berahino, who scored four times in West Bromwich Albion's 7-0 FA Cup win over Gateshead. His standout performance, albeit against a fifth-tier team, included a hat trick in 11 minutes.
"The opposition was ordinary but Berahino's four goals and an assist ... can't be dismissed," Marco Monteverde of News Corp. Australia said.
Rounding out the top five in the team poll is Manchester City, followed by Paris Saint-Germain, Grenoble, Liverpool, Sevilla and Manchester United.
Grenoble, which is in the fourth tier of French football, made the list after knocking out league leader Marseille on penalties.
AP Global Football
1. Antoine Griezmann, 105 points.
2. Steven Gerrard, 77.
3. Nicolas Otamendi, 65.
4. Harry Kane, 57.
5. Sergio Berahino, 52.
6. Geronimo Rulli, 45.
7. James Milner, 38.
8. Cristiano Ronaldo, 35.
9. Felipe Anderson, 30.
10. Alexis Sanchez, 28.
1. Valencia, 109 points.
2. Real Sociedad, 94.
3. Atletico Madrid, 77.
4. Tottenham, 65.
5. Manchester City, 60.
6. Paris Saint-Germain, 49.
7. Grenoble, 47.
8. Liverpool, 40.
9. Sevilla, 33.
10. Manchester United, 27.
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