World Player of the Week: Xabi Alonso - Spain

World Player of the Week
Xabi Alonso
AGE 30
POSITION Midfielder
FOR Spain
 0-1 Spain   Spain 2-0 France  

Xabi Alonso is one of the finest passers of the ball in modern football and the Real Madrid playmaker exhibited his undeniable class in Spain's comfortable victory over France in the Euro 2012 quarter-final clash on Saturday.

Alonso was making his 100th appearance for the reigning European and world champions, and demonstrated a performance to remember forever. Dominating the midfield, the 30-year-old was the architect of La Roja's 2-0 win against Laurent Blanc's side.

The former Real Sociedad and Liverpool star broke the deadlock for Spain with a well-taken header after 19 minutes, and added his second in the final minute from the penalty spot to set up a semi-final clash with Iberian rivals Portugal.

He also played his usual reliable role in the hard-fought win over Croatia last Monday, receiving the ball 100 times and completing 89 per cent of his passes.

Congratulations to Xabi Alonso,'s 162nd World Player of the Week winner!

Honourable Mentions

Ola Kamara - Stromsgodset

The Norwegian attacker scored a hat-trick to help his side to a 3-3 draw with Rosenborg, leapfrogging Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Molde at the top of Norway's Tippeligaen in the process.

Sami Khedira - Germany

The midfielder executed his duties superbly against Greece in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012, and helped Germany to a 4-2 win. He also scored a sumptuous volley to cap a wonderful performance.

Andrea Pirlo - Italy

The playmaker was the star of the show against England, as Italy won the quarter-final clash 4-2 on penalties. Pirlo was majestic in his passing and also scored a beautiful spot-kick during the shoot-out.

Cristiano Ronaldo - Portugal

The forward continued to light up the European Championship as he spearheaded Portugal's march to the last four with his match-winning header against Czech Republic. Ronaldo also hit the post twice.

David Trezeguet - River Plate

The French striker scored both goals in River Plate's 2-0 victory against Almirante Brown to hand Matias Almeyda's side promotion to the first division, a year after they were relegated.

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:

John in the USA voted for Pirlo after his performances for Italy inspired them to the semi-finals of Euro 2012.

"Andrea Pirlo should definitely win the award for leading the Italians to the semis. He played consistently well in all of Italy's matches, creating almost every chance. In addition to that, his penalty against England was simply genius."

Jeewan Panta in Nepal, though, disagreed with John and cast his vote in favour of Portuguese star Ronaldo.

" should give the World Player of Week award to Cristiano Ronaldo for his outstanding performance and priceless goal against Czech Republic. I think that he is the most suitable candidate for the award."

Felix from Ghana too backed the Real Madrid forward for the award.

"Ronaldo once again showed his immense mental strength and determination to propel Portugal to the semi-finals. should give him the award."

in Indonesia explained why Spain's Alonso should be given the honour.

"It mu
st be awarded to Xabi Alonso. He was able to keep up with the rapid passes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta, made splendid tackles, ran tirelessly, never lost composure and, more importantly, showed a terrific sense of timing when moving forward."

Raheeb in Palestine wanted Sweden international forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic to be recognised for his performance against France in their final group stage game at the European Championship.

"Zlatan Ibrahimovic should definitely win the World Player of the Week because of his wonderful display and unforgettable goal against France. He was the man who carried the rest of his team on his shoulders throughout the group stage. He is a great player and deserves this recognition."

Each week our worldwide team of editors will put forward a selected candidate, as chosen by 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...