World Player of the Week: Diego Alves - Valencia

World Player of the Week
Diego Alves
AGE 27
POSITION Goalkeeper
FOR Valencia
 Real Madrid
 1-1 Valencia

Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves would have been dreading the start to the Liga season after Los Che were drawn to play against reigning champions Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

When Gonzalo Higuain put Jose Mourinho's men ahead in the tenth minute, it looked as if the home side could rack up a cricket score, but Valencia fought back to register a shock 1-1 draw through Jonas' equaliser shortly before half time.

That Valencia earned a point was largely down to the heroics of Diego Alves - deputising for injured first-choice goalkeeper Vicente Guaita. Alves pulled off a string of stunning stops, including a decisive save from substitute Karim Benzema late on.

Even Higuain's goal only arrived at the third time of asking after Alves had twice denied him superbly. With opposite number Iker Casillas at fault for Valencia's equaliser, one would have been forgiven for thinking that it was Diego Alves who had just finished second in the 50.

Congratulations to Diego Alves,'s 170th World Player of the Week winner!

Honourable Mentions

Jozy Altidore - AZ

Altidore continued his stunning start to the season with another double in the 3-1 win over Heracles. The Unites States international leads the Eredivisie scoring charts with four goals in two games.

Metin Cakmak - Berliner AK 07

The story of the week came in Germany where fourth division regional side Berliner AK 07 upset Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim 4-2 in the DFB-Pokal. Cakmak was the hero, scoring two beautiful goals past Tim Wiese.

Michu - Swansea City

Making his Premier League debut on the opening weekend of the season, midfielder Michu struck twice in a thumping 5-0 win at QPR. The second was a superb left-footed swerving strike from 18 yards.

Neymar - Santos & Brazil

Just a day after assisting Leandro Damiao's goal against Sweden, Neymar took a private jet across the Atlantic and scored versus Figueirense. On Sunday, he made it four assists in one week with two more as Santos beat Corinthians.

Jose Sand - Racing Club

Sand has gone from zero to hero in the space of a fortnight. Having missed two penalties on matchday one to cost Racing victory, he scored a double last weekend in the 2-0 derby triumph over Independiente.

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:

Asafa voted for for eventual winner and Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves for his game-saving heroics against Real Madrid.

"Against the best team in Europe, Alves single-handedly won his team a point. Some of his saves were out of this world."

Futebol believes that Neymar deserved the prize after a hectic week, which involved three games - two of them in the space of 24 hours.

"Neymar got four assists this week and also scored. He played two games in two days. Players haven't done that for 30 years."

TeamuSa offered his vote to Jozy Altidore after the American took his goal tally to the season to four.

"All the Altidore haters can now eat their words. He will be top scorer in Netherlands, you watch!"
nathE put forward Arsenal newboy Santi Cazorla - despite the 0-0 draw with Sunderland - a player who manager Arsene Wenger has tipped to be the signing of the summer.

"I think Cazorla deserves player of the week. He scored a stunner in Spain's friendly win over Puerto Rico, and put in a man-of-the-match performance against Sunderland."

Kelvin Mhina highlighted the performance of Newcastle star Hatem Ben Arfa, who was inspirational and scored the winner versus Tottenham.

"Ben Arfa took the game against Spurs on his shoulders and single-handedly won the match. Very talented, very versatile, he's simply a top player. I go for him!"

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...