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World Player of the Week
Ibrahim Afellay
AGE 26
POSITION Winger
FOR Netherlands
WEEK IN NUMBERS
APPS (GOALS SCORED) 2 (2)
TIME ON PITCH 170
PREVIOUS WINS 0
 Netherlands
 2-0 Slovakia   Netherlands 6-0 Northern Ireland
Ibrahim Afellay had a horrendous 2011-12 season with Barcelona as he missed virtually the entire campaign with a serious knee injury, and there were doubts on whether he would make it to the 23-man squad for Netherlands for Euro 2012.

The 26-year-old attacker was eventually included in his coach Bert van Marwijk's team, and his faith has been repaid following the former PSV star’s stunning performances in the last two matches

Afellay had a brilliant game against Northern Ireland in a friendly international on Saturday, as he scored two goals in the Oranje’s 6-0 triumph in Amsterdam. He put in a good performance against Slovakia in midweek as well, his cross leading to Kornel Salata’s own goal in a 2-0 victory.

Having been involved in five of the last eight Netherlands goals, Afellay is expected to start their opening Euro 2012 encounter against Denmark and is now one of the more important players in the side.
Congratulations to Ibrahim Afellay, Goal.com's 159th World Player of the Week winner!

Honourable Mentions

Giovani Dos Santos - Mexico

Mexico registered a brilliant 2-0 victory over a youthful Brazil side on Sunday, with attacker Dos Santos running the show. The 23-year-old scored the first with a brilliant chip from a narrow angle and then won the penalty that was converted by Javier Hernandez.
Foxi Kethevoama - C.A.R.

Botswana travelled to the Central African Republic armed with the knowledge that their opponents had never won a World Cup qualifier, but Kethevoama’s double changed that record and saw CAR win 2-0 in his hometown of Bangui.
Lionel Messi - Argentina

Messi was the architect-in-chief of Argentina’s 4-0 triumph over Ecuador in their 2014 World Cup qualifier, as he set up Gonzalo Higuain with a brilliant run and then himself found the target to showcase once again what he is capable of.
Mehdi Rahmati - Iran

Rahmati produced a man-of-the-match performance for Iran in their stunning 1-0 away win over Uzbekistan in their 2014 World Cup qualifying fixture, making a number of brilliant saves.
Roman Shirokov - Russia

Russia gave Italy more cause for concern ahead of Euro 2012 with a 3-0 victory in a friendly international, and the man who killed off the Azzurri in Zurich was Shirokov, scoring two late goals from close range to seal a fantastic victory for Dick Advocaat’s team.

On Sunday, we encouraged our readers to nominate their choices for the best player of the week. Here are some of the comments we received:

Juan in Madrid voted for Argentina forward Messi to win the accolade following his display in the Conmebol World Cup qualifier.

"Messi should win the prize because of his performance against Ecuador. He scored one great goal, provided one assist and was involved in the other two goals."

Dace in Los Angeles too backed Messi for the honour.

"My pick would be Lionel Messi. He scored a goal and helped his team-mates Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain find the back of the net in their 4-0 win against Ecuador."

Ediesson in Montreal, though, felt that Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas is a more deserving candidate following his display against China on Sunday.

"A lot of players played well this week but my pick would be Casillas of Spain. He made several great saves to deny China a goal in their 1-0 win. That's why he deserves to be the Goal.com World Player for the week, or maybe an honourable mention."

Vic
from Sweden supported our decision to drape Afellay with the honour.

"Afellay should be the World Player of the Week. After being injured for six months, he has come back to the national team and is owning everyone in the park. He had two great games ahead of the Euros and is showcasing his class."

Julio in Toronto, Canada went for someone who is not involved in the European Championship this month.

"Carlos Ruiz from Guatemala deserves the award. He netted three goals in two games - one of his goals was a nice chip over the goalkeeper and another was a beautiful diving header on Friday against Costa Rica."

 

Each week our worldwide team of editors will put forward a selected candidate, as chosen by Goal.com International, who deserves recognition for achieving something special that matchday.

You can also help us choose a worthy recipient of the weekly accolade by leaving your nominations and comments here. Your suggestions will be taken into consideration.

It won't necessarily be the best player in the world - at least not usually - but whoever we crown will have accomplished something amazing. It might be for a particularly awesome performance or for something praiseworthy off the pitch - either way, the person in question deserves special attention...

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