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 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...
Goal.com World Player of the Week #140: Francesco Totti
Achievement: Became the highest goalscorer with a single Serie A club
Francesco Totti is a Roma legend and he further consolidated his legacy amongst the Giallorossi faithful with two goals in the opening eight minutes against Cesena in Serie A on Saturday.
The 35-year-old’s brace at the Stadio Olimpico in a 5-1 victory took him past Gunnar Nordahl as the highest goalscorer with a single Serie A club. He now has 211 goals - one more than the legendary Swedish forward - in 486 league appearances.
Totti opened the scoring for Roma in the very first minute when he struck a powerful shot past Francesco Antonioli and seven minutes later added his second - his fourth in his last three matches. Those two quickly and well-taken goals proved to be the undoing of Cesena and saw Roma sustain their dream of a top-three finish in the Italian top flight this campaign.
One of the greatest players of all time and a true one-club man, Totti is a Roma icon and symbol. Earlier this term, he had been linked with moves away from the Olimpico following differences with coach Luis Enrique, but on Saturday he once again showcased his class and how much he means to Roma.
Congratulations to Francesco Totti, Goal.com's 140th World Player of the Week!
Clint Dempsey - Fulham
Fulham recorded a brilliant 5-2 victory over Newcastle United at Craven Cottage in the Premier League on Saturday and the man at the heart of that triumph was a certain Clint Dempsey, who scored a superb second-half hat-trick.
Didier Drogba - Cote d'Ivoire
Cote d'Ivoire are one of the favourites for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and Didier Drogba ensured that they got off to a winning start in the prestigious competition. The Chelsea forward scored a first-half header in their opener against Sudan that proved to be the decisive factor in the game, as the Elephants bagged a 1-0 victory.
Lionel Messi - Barcelona
Lionel Messi had a productive week as he was involved in back-to-back wins for Barcelona. The Fifa Ballon d’Or winner set up Eric Abidal for the winner in the Clasico against Real Madrid on Wednesday, thereby overseeing a 2-1 victory for the Blaugrana in the Copa del Rey quarter-final first-leg clash at the Santiago Bernabeu. He followed up the performance against Madrid on Sunday by grabbing a brilliant hat-trick in Barca’s 4-1 away hammering of Malaga.
Marco Reus - Borussia Monchengladbach
Marco Reus was brilliant for Borussia Monchengladbach as they got the better of Bayern Munich 3-1 at home in the Bundesliga on Friday. It was a real ‘David vs Goliath’ affair and the 22-year-old was decisive, scoring the first goal and setting up the third. Reus, who recently snubbed the chance to join Bayern at the end of the season for Borussia Dortmund, had been involved in a war of words against the Bavarian giants and was under pressure at the Borussia-Park - yet he did not wilt under the pressure.
Antonio Valencia - Manchester United
Antonio Valencia helped maintain Manchester United’s title challenge in the Premier League when he inspired the Red Devils to a 2-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. The Ecuador international scored the opener and set up Danny Welbeck’s winner with a fantastic run down the right flank.
Leave your notes of congratulations for Francesco Totti below, or discuss who else deserves a place in the spotlight this week...