World Player of the Week: Leandro Damiao - Brazil

World Player of the Week
Leandro Damiao
AGE 23
FOR Brazil
 3-0 New Zealand
 Brazil  3-2 Honduras

Brazil's men are the red-hot favourites to win their first ever gold medal in the football at the 2012 Olympics, but for a long time of their quarter final against Honduras it seemed as if a shock exit was on the cards.

Twice falling behind, it took Leandro Damiao's determination and decisiveness to swing the tie in the favour of the South Americans. First, the Internacional striker's anticipation allowed him to turn home Hulk's cutback, then the 23-year-old won his side a penalty - allowing Neymar to equalise for a second time.

Damiao was destined to have the final say in a thrilling clash at St James' Park, by firing home on the hour mark to book a semi-final meeting with Korea.

Earlier in the week, Damiao also scored one and made another as Brazil beat New Zealand 3-0 and finished top of Group C. Wanted by a host of top European clubs, it will be difficult for Internacional to keep hold of their master marksman following his Olympic heroics.

Congratulations to Leandro Damiao,'s 168th World Player of the Week winner!

Honourable Mentions

Sergei Semak - Zenit

Champions Zenit have maximum points from their first three games in Russia, and blitzed CSKA Moscow with three first half goals at the weekend. Evergreen 36-year-old Semak struck twice past Igor Akinfeev.

Guillermo Sara - Atletico de Rafaela

Sara was the standout performer on the first day of the Argentine Apertura by singlehandedly earning Atletico a point at Racing. The goalkeeper saved two penalties from Jose Sand, and made a string of other stops.

Waleed Soliman - Al Ahly

The result of the round in the CAF Champions League saw Al Ahly thrash Berekum Chelsea 4-1. The star of the show was Waleed Soliman, who scored twice, and terrorised the Ghanaians throughout.

Ki Sung-Yueng - Korea

Team GB suffered a heartbreaking Olympic football exit on Saturday night to Korea and the chief protagonist was Ki, who delivered an assist in normal time and then dispatched the winning penalty in the shootout.

Maya Yoshida - Japan

The Japanese men's team have yet to concede a goal at the Olympics, mainly thanks to defensive leader Yoshida. The 23-year-old masterminded another two clean sheets last week and scored in the last-eight win over Egypt.

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:

Chris voted for Japan defensive mastermind Maya Yoshida for helping Japan reach the last four of London 2012.

"Maya Yoshida. Essential to Japan keeping clean sheets against Honduras and Egypt, scored against Egypt, and showed great leadership as captain in leading Japan to its first Olympics semi finals in more than four decades."

Damiao might have won the World Player of the Week award, but there was plenty of praise for his Brazilian counterpart Oscar, including from Camilo Mujica.

"Definitely Oscar, he has been outstanding throughout the Olympics so far and keeps us waiting to see what he might do with Chelsea."

Outside of the Olympic Games, Nick praised Waleed Soliman for his performance in the African Champions League.

"Waleed Soliman from Al-Ahly of Egypt. CAF Champions League group stage match, scored 2 goals and provided 1 assist."

Switching back to the contest for a gold medal, Tae voted for South Korea star Ki Sung-Yueng, who helped guide the Far East nation into the Olympic semi-final.

"Ki Sung-Yeung. He led S Korea against never-easy opponents like Switzerland, Gabon and Great Britain. With the lack of offensive flash in the Korean team, they managed to reach the semi-final thanks to the excellent work of Ki.

Nicola Criniti's focus was across the Atlantic ocean where Felipe was in form in the MLS.

"Felipe!!! Montreal vs. Philadelphia. He scored the second goal of the match with a beautiful scissor kick!!"

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...