World Player of the Week: Hisato Sato - Sanfrecce Hiroshima

World Player of the Week
Hisato Sato
AGE 30
FOR Sanfrecce Hiroshima
 Sanfrecce Hiroshima
 3-0 Kawasaki Frontale

Hisato Sato is not a name that many outside Japan will be familiar with, but the striker came to the fore this week by finding the target yet again to lead Sanfrecce Hiroshima to the top of the J-League table for the first time since he joined them in 2005.

Sato scored a quickfire double against Kawasaki Frontale in a 3-0 victory to help his side leapfrog Vegalta Sendai into pole position on goal difference. He also took his tally to 14 goals this term, which makes him the top scorer in the division.

The 30-year-old is the only player so far this campaign to have hit double-digits in the Japanese top flight, and at his current pace could become the first player since Ryoichi Maeda in 2009 to cross the 20-goal mark.

The former Vegalta Sendai player is one of J-League's few legitimate remaining stars and his displays for Sanfrecce week in week out this season have been outstanding.

Congratulations to Hisato Sato,'s 165th World Player of the Week winner!

Honourable Mentions

Yakubu Aiyegbeni - Guangzhou R&F

The Nigerian striker started off his Chinese Super League adventure on a stunning note, heading home the only goal in Guangzhou R&F's win against local rivals Guangzhou Evergrande on his debut.

David Beckham - LA Galaxy

The midfielder recovered from the disappointment of being excluded from Team GB's Olympic squad by scoring two sensational goals in LA Galaxy's 5-3 win over Portland Timbers, his first from 25 yards and his second a trademark free-kick.

Marcelo Moreno - Gremio

The striker destroyed Cruzeiro in the Brasileiro, as he was involved in all three goals in Gremio’s 3-1 victory in Belo Horizonte. He scored the first and the third, and provided the assist for the second.

Jese Rodriguez - Spain U-19

The Real Madrid youngster rounded off a brilliant Under-19 European Championship by scoring the only goal in the final against Greece in a 1-0 victory, thereby winning the Golden Boot with five goals.

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:

Stha Syam voted for Beckham thanks to his brilliant goals against Portland Timbers.

"David Beckham should be given the award for his double against Portland Timbers."

James was one of many readers who backed the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder for the honour.

"David Beckham scored two goals to help LA Galaxy come back from 1-0 down against Portland Timbers and win the MLS clash 5-3. Both of his strikes were from well outside the penalty box and were world class."

Przemysław Stepien cast his vote in favour of the man who put a dent in Spain's Olympics plan.

"Sadio Mane of Senegal gets my backing for totally dominating the pitch against Spain U23 in their 2-0 friendly win and then capping it off with a goal. It was a brilliant performance from the midfielder."

Toni Mickiewicz, though, felt that the performance of a certain former Barcelona great must be recognised this week.
"Ronaldinho Gauco should be given the award for being Atletico Mineiro's Andrea Pirlo. He was in fantastic form against Figueirense in the Brasileiro, as he led Atletico to a 4-3 victory and was also on target."

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 from Sunday morning onwards. 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...