'An injury-stricken season ends on a high' – Goal.com's World Player of the Week Avraam Papadopoulos

3-0 AEK Athens

Olympiakos secured their 40th league title on their 88th anniversary on Sunday, and it was defender Avraam Papadopoulos who stole the headlines and secured our World Player of the Week award with two goals in their 3-0 derby victory over AEK Athens.

The 28-year-old opened the scoring with a 14th minute effort at the Karaiskakis Stadium and doubled the lead with a header 10 minutes after the restart. Algerian winger Djamel Abdoun rounded off the scoring to seal the victory.

AEK – themselves 11-time champions of the nation’s top tier – were unable to breach a defence which was marshalled finely by the Greece international. With five games left in the season, Papadopoulos’ goals have helped ensure that the champions can relax ahead of the summer holidays, while Sunday’s opponents teeter on the brink of relegation.

Goal.com International’s Miles Chambers summarised the Greek defender’s week: “Papadopoulos has seen an injury-stricken season end on a high by starring in Sunday’s derby victory. The 2012-13 season has been far from smooth for the former Aris star, as he missed a massive eight-month chunk with an anterior cruciate ligament injury picked up at Euro 2012.

“His time on the sidelines meant that he played no part in Olympiakos pushing Arsenal close for the second spot in Group B of the Champions League and narrowly missing out on the knockout stages of the competition.

“However, after returning to the fray in late January, Papadopoulos has been able to help guide head coach Michel’s side comfortably to the Greek Super League title with five games to spare, thanks to their 16-point lead being insurmountable for Asteras Tripolis. His strikes either side of half-time on Sunday were a fitting way for Papadopoulos to finish with a flurry.

Congratulations to Avraam Papadopoulos, Goal.com’s 199th World Player of the Week winner!

The Shortlist

Abass Dieng – Thanh Hoa FC

Suda Jon: “Abass Cheikh Dieng’s hat-trick was hero[ic].”

Goal.com’s Xuan Thanh: “His strength, fitness & speed showed in the match. A great striker, a great performance.”

Jaime Estrada – Manta

@Jaimefmacias: “Jaime Estrada came on and scored his first goal with his first touch!”

Goal.com’s Rupert Fryer: “The former club president deserves credit for scoring on his debut for Manta.”

Cristiano Ronaldo – R. Madrid

  Chuma Jamie: “The player of the week is definitely no other but Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Goal.com’s Stephen McIlkenny: “He knocked Manchester United out of Europe then saved the day at Celta.”

Jan Vertonghen – Tottenham

@Richard_Buxton_: “Vertonghen [was] brilliant for Spurs at both ends of the field.”

Goal.com’s Joe Wright: “A defender with three goals in two games? Terrific against both Inter and Liverpool.”

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