World Player of the Week: Yasuhito Endo - Gamba Osaka

Join Goal.com in saluting another player worthy of global recognition

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 #110: Yasuhito Endo

Club: Gamba Osaka
Country: Japan
Age: 31
Role: Midfielder
Achievement: In inspirational form in the J-League

Yasuhito Endo has been in sensational form this week and virtually single-handedly pulled Gamba Osaka up the charts in the J-League. The veteran midfielder inspired their 5-3 victory over Sanfrecce Hiroshima on Sunday as Gamba moved up to fifth in the table, just six points off top spot and with two games in hand.

The 31-year-old Japan international scored one of the goals against Hiroshima and set up two more. Last week Endo netted against Yokohama F Marino and in midweek he struck again against Kashiwa Reysol.

It is not just not Endo’s goals that have rejuvenated Gamba but his leadership in central midfield. In a week when players like Neymar of Santos and Thiago Alcantara of Spain’s Under-21 national team have been hugely impressive, Endo has quietly but assuredly led Gamba forward.

Congratulations to Yasuhito Endo, Goal.com's 110th World Player of the Week!

Honourable Mentions

Xherdan Shaqiri – Switzerland U21

The Basel winger emerged as one of the best players in the 2011 European Under-21 Championship and was a constant joy to watch in the competition. His performance was a key factor in the Swiss reaching the final.

The Basel winger emerged as one of the best players in the European U21 Championship and was a joy to watch in the competition. His performances were a key factor in the Swiss reaching the final.

 

Thiago Alcantara – Spain U21

The Barcelona midfielder was arguably the best player in the European U21 championship in Denmark and scored a sensational goal from all of 45 yards in their 2-0 victory over Switzerland in the final. His ability to dictate the game from the midfield was reminiscent of Xavi.

Pablo Barrera – Mexico

The West Ham United striker scored twice for Mexico in their 4-2 comeback victory over the United States in the Gold Cup final on Saturday evening. The 24-year-old netted his first goal after 29 minutes and his second just five minutes into the second-half.

Neymar – Santos

The 19-year-old burst into life after the half-time interval of the Copa Libertadores final against Penarol. Neymar scored the first goal and set up the second in their 2-1 victory that saw the Brazilian side win South America’s premier club competition.

Juan Carlos Olave – Belgrano

The Belgrano goalkeeper made a number of important saves in their 1-1 draw with River Plate in the second-leg of the relegation play-off encounter between the two sides. Olave also stopped a penalty and his heroics condemned the Argentine giants to relegation from the first division.

Okan Aydin – Germany U17

The youngster was in phenomenal form for his team in the ongoing Fifa U-17 World Cup. He scored against Ecuador in their 6-1 victory and another against Panama in a 2-0 win.

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


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