European Football Team of the Week Featuring Messi, Hazard and Fellaini

Ed WymanCorrespondent IAugust 21, 2012

European Football Team of the Week Featuring Messi, Hazard and Fellaini

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    With the English Premier League, La Liga and Ligue 1 now under way, it is time for this season's first addition of European Team of the Week.

    Unfortunately, the Bundesliga and Serie A are yet to commence, so there are no players from the German and Italian leagues this week.

    However, that still leaves us with more than enough players to make a very strong XI, featuring this weekend's standout performers after an exciting weekend of European football.

    With surprising results, big scares and goal feasts to be considered, there are bound to be players unlucky to not have made the list. However, here are 11 men who've earned themselves a spot in the first Team of the Week. 

GK Diego Alves

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    Valencia's Diego Alves got his side off to a great start by pulling off a string of important stops to hold the mighty Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw. 

    Alves even managed to block Gonzalo Higuaín's first two efforts on goal, but the second rebound proved too much for the Brazilian.

    Several good saves in the second half, including those on efforts by Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil, meant that Valencia left the Bernabéu with a valuable point and plenty of confidence.

LB Benoît Trémoulinas

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    Benoît Trémoulinas, Bordeaux's left-back, put in a good performance against Stade Rennais, causing real problems on the left wing for the Stade Rennais defence.

    He was able to cut inside effectively to create chances, and he handled his defensive duties easily enough on the few occasions he was called upon. 

    Bordeaux will be looking to challenge for the league title once more, and Trémoulinas could well be vital to that effort with his attacking runs and good delivery into the box. 

CB Mikel San José

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    Athletic Bilbao's Mikel San José makes the team of the week, but not for the traditional defensive reasons. 

    Bilbao lost 3-5 to Real Betis, which suggests that San José and his defensive comrades didn't do a fantastic job.

    However, San José grabbed himself two goals in the second half to get his side back on level terms after going 3-0 down inside the first half. 

    It was all for nothing in the end, but the former Liverpool man kept the game alive for his side and helped create a highly entertaining La Liga encounter. 

CB Carles Puyol

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    Barcelona triumphed 5-1 against Real Sociedad to get their campaign to regain the La Liga crown under way.

    Carles Puyol opened the scoring with a headed goal and continued to pose an attacking threat from set plays, but he was also solid defensively, as he showed no signs of post-injury or early-season rust. 

    There are bound to be tougher tests for Barcelona's captain as the season progresses, but this was certainly the type of performance that bodes well for the future.

RB Rod Fanni

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    Marseille's Rod Fanni played well in his side's 2-0 win over Sochaux, getting the second goal in a goalmouth scramble and threatening down the right wing throughout the game.

    The 30-year-old has helped his side to a good start to the season that currently sees them in second place with a perfect record after two rounds of matches.

    Fanni, however, could be on his way to the Premier League in the near future.

    He has been linked to both Newcastle and Sunderland this summer and has previously stated his desire to play in the Premier League, according to this report from Metro.

LM Samir Nasri

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    Manchester City's Samir Nasri played a decisive role in his side getting all three points against newly-promoted Southampton last weekend.

    The Manchester City winger scored the winner against the Saints and was lively on the left wing for the Premier League champions. He should have had an assist to go with his goal, but David Silva somehow contrived to fire his close-range shot into the crossbar. 

    The former Arsenal man is looking to claim back-to-back Premier League titles with City, and the Sky Blues will find that challenge a lot easier if Nasri can perform consistently. 

CM Michu

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    Michu has already stamped his name on the Premier League after putting in an impressive performance in his debut for Swansea against Queens Park Rangers.

    The attacking midfielder bagged himself two goals, including a wonderful, curled, left-foot shot, and he even added an assist.

    He linked well with Danny Graham and caused havoc for QPR's defence with his movement and skill.

    Swansea fans might have been worried about some second-season blues, but Michu has gotten them off to the perfect start, and although it is very early in the season, there is no reason Swansea shouldn't continue from where they left off last season.

RM Angel di Maria

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    Real Madrid's Angel di Maria was one of the few positives to come out of the Spanish giant's 1-1 draw with Valencia.

    Di Maria was a constant threat down the right wing and was a vital cog in the build-up to Madrid's goal. He went close to scoring himself and helped his team create chances until he was withdrawn with 20 minutes left.

    His good form will be important to Real as they look to get their season up and running and put their disappointing start behind them.

CAM Marouane Fellaini

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    Everton's Marouane Fellaini is not used to playing in so advanced a role, but he looked like a natural against Manchester United.

    The Belgian put on an impressive display, winning virtually every aerial challenge and causing real problems for David de Gea and the rest of the Manchester United defence with his size and tenacity. 

    His clever knockdown almost allowed Leon Osman to put Everton up 1-0 before he eventually won the game for Everton with a powerful header.

CAM Eden Hazard

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    Chelsea's Belgian maestro got his Premier League career off to a flying start with one assist and a drawn penalty kick in his new side's 2-0 win against Wigan.

    Eden Hazard's clever turn and pass earned him his first assist before he won the penalty to put his team up 2-0. Not a bad way to start the new season, especially when you consider that all this happened inside the first 10 minutes.

    By the standards he set with that sort of opening, the rest of Hazard's game was unremarkable. However, he was still lively and worked hard to create more chances for his team.

    Some might have had their doubts about Hazard after his Community Shield performance, but he has proven that he is well suited to the English game with a fluent display. 

ST Lionel Messi

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    It didn't take Lionel Messi long to get back to business against Real Sociedad. The mercurial Argentine scored two goals inside the first 16 minutes to give his side a commanding 3-1 lead.

    The performance was exactly what we have come to expect of him, and he could have had a first-half hat trick but for a decent save. 

    Nobody would claim that Messi isn't important to Barcelona's season, and fans of the Catalan club will be glad to see that he has hit the ground running once again.