Welcome to Goal.com's regular feature: Goal.com World Player of the Week. 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. 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...
Goal.com World Player of the Week #119: Wayne Rooney
Club: Manchester United
Achievement: Destroyed Arsenal at Old Trafford with a hat-trick
In the end, it proved to be all too easy for Manchester United as they demolished Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. The 8-2 victory in the Premier League is truly a historic achievement for the Red Devils, and at the centre of the show was a certain Wayne Rooney.
The mercurial England international scored a sensational hat-trick against the Gunners to become United’s all-time top Premier League goalscorer, overtaking Ryan Giggs. Two of his goals were wonderfully crafted free-kicks that found both corners of Wojciech Scezney's goal and the other came from the penalty spot.
It was not just the goals that made Rooney stand out in the match, it was also his general play. It was clear to one and all that he was relishing every moment of the clash and he was just about everywhere he needed to be.
Whether or not the 25-year-old can sustain this momentum remains to be seen, but in a week that has seen a number of players perform to the best of their abilities across Europe, Rooney is the one player who stands out heads and shoulders above the rest.
Congratulations to Wayne Rooney, Goal.com's 119th World Player of the Week!
Edin Dzeko - Manchester City
The Bosnia international striker joined Man City from Wolfsburg in January and endured a disappointing second half of the 2010-11 campaign in England. However, Dzeko appears to have finally found his feet in the Premier League and scored four goals against Tottenham Hotspur in their 5-1 win at White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon.
Roberto Soldado - Valencia
Unai Emery’s side have seen star player Juan Mata leave for Chelsea this summer, but they still remain a very attack-minded team. Valencia recorded an enthralling 4-3 victory over Racing Santander in their opening game of La Liga on Saturday evening, and striker Soldado was the star of the show. Not only did he score a hat-trick, but two of his strikes came in the final minutes of the match that saw Valencia overturn a 3-2 deficit.
Samir Nasri - Manchester City
The France international midfielder made a terrific debut for his new club against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Nasri provided three assists in their 5-1 victory at White Hart Lane - that’s an assist for every training he has had with Man City.
Dries Mertens - PSV
The PSV attacker scored three goals and provided one assist to help the Dutch giants to a 6-1 win against Excelsior. He has now scored six goals in four Eredivisie games since joining PSV from Utrecht and is the league's leading goalscorer at the moment.
Mauricio Molina - FC Seoul
The Colombian striker scored three goals and provided three assists in his team’s 6-3 victory over Gangwon in the K-League this weekend.
Samuel Eto’o - Anzhi Makhachkala
The Cameroon international striker completed his move from Italian giants Inter to ambitious Russian club Anzhi last week and got off to a flyer. Eto’o came off the bench on 58 minutes to score the equaliser 10 minutes from full-time to garner a 1-1 draw at Rostov in his team’s Russian Premier League encounter on Saturday.
Alvaro Negredo - Sevilla
Sevilla defeated Malaga 2-1 in the Primera Division on Sunday evening and at the heart of the victory was a certain Alvaro Negredo. The Spain international striker has not always been on top of his game in his tenure in Seville, but he has started the new campaign on a high, scoring both the goals in his team’s win over their high-spending Andalucian rivals.
Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid
It was 'only' Real Zaragoza but still Ronaldo’s hat-trick in Real Madrid’s 6-0 away win in the Primera Division is a huge achievement. With those three strikes the Portugal international forward took his goal-tally to 14 goals in his last five league appearances.
Mario Gomez - Bayern Munich
Mario Gomez is a striker who can take advantage of a loose ball and knows how to be in the right position at the right time. The Germany international scored all three goals in Bayern’s 3-0 away victory over Kaiserslautern in the Bundesliga on Sunday and also netted the only goal in their 1-0 win against Zurich in the second leg of their Champions League play-off tie in Switzerland.
Leave your notes of congratulations for Wayne Rooney below, or discuss who else deserves a place in the spotlight this week...