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Join in saluting another player worthy of global recognition

Welcome to's regular feature: World Player of the Week. 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. It won't necessarily be the best player in the world - at least not usually - but whoever we nominate will have done 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... World Player of the Week #117: Laurent Pionnier
Club: Montpellier

Country: France
Age: 29
Role: Goalkeeper
Achievement: Shut out Lille's attackers in 1-0 victory

Montpellier conjured up a sensational victory over defending Ligue 1 champions Lille on Sunday evening and at the heart of the triumph was their goalkeeper Laurent Pionnier. The 29-year-old was in brilliant form as he helped his side retain their 1-0 lead given by a Olivier Giroud goal on 70 minutes.

The La Paillade shot-stopper made some excellent saves from Florent Balmont and Moussa Sow, and frustrated the Lille attackers throughout the night. The Bagnols-sur-Ceze-born 'keeper, who has been with Montpellier his entire career, also kept out Eden Hazard.

The victory was a brilliant achievement on Montpellier's part especially as it was earned at Lille's ground, the Stadium Nord Lille Metropole. But it would not have been possible for Rene Girard's team had a certain Pionnier not been aware between the sticks.

Congratulations to Laurent Pionnier,'s 117th World Player of the Week!

Honourable Mentions

Alexandre Lacazette - France U20

Lacazette launched France into the semi-finals of the Fifa Under-20 World Cup as he scored twice against Nigeria in the quarter-final on Sunday evening. The 20-year-old's first goal came after 50 minutes and his second proved to be the winner, as he netted on 104 minutes to ensure that France won the encounter 3-2 after extra-time.

Karim Benzema - France & Real Madrid

The 23-year-old has had a productive and good pre-season with Real Madrid and reaped the rewards for his nation France during their 1-1 draw with Chile in a friendly international last week. He provided the assist for Loic Remy's goal in the first-half and almost netted a sensational one himself. Against Barcelona in the first-leg of the Spanish Supercopa at the Santiago Bernabeu, Benzema again showed good form and created Mesut Ozil's goal in a 2-2 draw.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar - Schalke

The former Real Madrid and AC Milan striker turned on the style for the Gelsenkirchen outfit as they thrashed Koln 5-1 at home in the Bundesliga on Saturday. Huntelaar netted a superb hat-trick to put the visitors to the sword.

Domenico Criscito - Italy

The Italy international had a superb all-round game against Spain in the friendly between the two European giants in midweek. Criscito almost put Italy into the lead early on when he thundered a shot off the post from 25 yards. As the match progressed, the full-back continued to get better, played a lovely ball through for Riccardo Montolivo to score the first goal and also subdued Andoni Iraola.

Asmir Begovic - Stoke City

The Bosnian goalkeeper emerged as the best player on the pitch at the Britannia Stadium against Chelsea, as he earned his team an encouraging point in the Premier League following a goalless draw. He made two crucial saves, one from a Jose Bosingwa cross-cum-shot early on and then from a John Obi Mikel long-ranger.

Leave your notes of congratulations for Laurent Pionnier below, or discuss who else deserves a place in the spotlight this week...