MANCHESTER, England — After dominating the first legs of their Champions League semifinals, it's no surprise to see Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund leading the way in the latest Associated Press global football poll.
Bayern pipped Dortmund to be voted the world's top team for the fifth straight week, with its 4-0 hammering of Barcelona impressing the AP's panel of 15 journalists.
Dortmund had the player of the week, though, with striker Robert Lewandowski coming out on top after his four-goal display in the 4-1 thrashing of Real Madrid. Three more players from Juergen Klopp's side also made the top 10.
"The Polish striker managed the performance of his life against Real Madrid," said Cedric Rouquette, of Eurosport in France. "One that the press will talk about when he retires, one that he'll tell his grandchildren about and one that will feature in his obituary."
The best of the rest came from Manchester United, with the newly crowned Premier League champion placing third in the team poll and Robin van Persie — a scorer of four goals in the past week including a title-clinching hat trick against Aston Villa — coming fifth in the player vote behind Dortmund pair Lewandowski and Marco Reus and Bayern's Thomas Mueller and Arjen Robben. Mueller and Robben was second and third, with Reus in fourth.
Germany signalled a shift in European football's balance of power by beating Spain by a combined total of 8-1 in the first legs of the Champions League semifinals but it's been that way in the AP poll for a while.
Just like Barcelona dominated the early weeks of the season, Bayern is doing so in the run-in, although Jupp Heynckes' side only beat Borussia by 11 points in the team vote.
"Never has choosing my top two teams been easier," said Tom Timmermann, of St. Louis Post-Dispatch in the United States. "The two German clubs showed themselves to be so much better than the Spanish clubs, and if they're not playing in the Champions League final, I'll be amazed."
Mike McGrath, of Wardles news agency and The Sun newspaper in England, chose Bayern over Dortmund because the German champions produced a "team performance" against Barcelona while Dortmund's success was largely down to the sublime finishing of Lewandowski, who could easily be in the Bayern squad by the start of next season.
Only Mueller, who scored twice for Bayern at the Allianz Arena, came close to challenging Lewandowski in the player vote.
"Imagine one of the greatest football teams in the world preparing for an away match and the intelligent manager giving special attention to one of the opponents, underlining the importance of keeping him away from chances," said Soeren-Mikael Hansen, of Politiken in Denmark. "Even so exactly that player scores not one, two or three but four goals in a high-profile Champions League semifinal.
"That's outstanding, that's magnificent, that's Robert Lewandowski!"
Gareth Bale was shunted down to sixth place despite scoring one and grabbing the vital late assist in Tottenham's 2-2 draw at Wigan, which kept his team in contention for a finish in the Champions League positions in the Premier League.
Stifled by Bayern, Lionel Messi crept into the top 10 in seventh place by virtue of his goal in Barca's 2-2 draw at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday that left the Catalan side on the brink of wrapping up the Spanish league title. Barca still managed to place 10th in the team vote.
AP Global Football Rankings for the week ending April 29.
Based on 15 voters, using 10 points for first, nine for second, one for bottom place. Previous rankings in parentheses.
1. Bayern Munich (1) 147 points.
2. Borussia Dortmund (7), 136.
3. Manchester United (5), 80.
4. Juventus (2), 71.
5. Chelsea, 58.
6. Liverpool, 50
7. Real Madrid (4), 36.
8. Paris Saint-Germain (6), 30.
9. Real Sociedad, 27
10. Barcelona (5), 24
1. Robert Lewandowski, (3), 139 points.
2. Thomas Mueller, 116.
3. Arjen Robber, 63.
4. Marco Reus, 57.
5. Robin van Persie (6), 53.
6. Gareth Bale (2), 41.
7. Lionel Messi, 36.
(tie) Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, 36
9. Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, 31
(tie) Ilkay Gundogan, 31