Messi edges Falcao at top of AP soccer rankings

SIMON HAYDON Associated Press Published:

LONDON (AP) -- Lionel Messi narrowly stayed on top of AP's Global Soccer Rankings this week despite breaking the record for goals in a calendar year. The Barcelona great finished one point ahead of Spanish league rival Radamel Falcao, who scored five goals for Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona lost its top spot in the team rankings to Manchester United, which beat Manchester City 3-2 to stay first in the Premier League.

Messi received 170 points from 18 voters, with Falcao at 169. Wayne Rooney was third with 120 after scoring twice for United.

Messi broke Mueller's 40-year-old record for most goals in a year, scoring for the 86th time in 2012 on Sunday. Falcao is the first Spanish league player with five goals in a game since Fernando Morientes in the 2001-02 season.