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FedEx Performance Zone: Džeko takes the lead

Edin Džeko has replaced Giuliano in top spot in the FedEx Performance Zone rankings – we look at the movers and shakers with analysis from ambassador Patrik Andersson.

Edin Džeko scored three to go top of the rankings
Edin Džeko scored three to go top of the rankings ©AFP/Getty Images

Zenit's Giuliano had led the FedEx Performance Zone rankings since the UEFA Europa League group stage started but there is a new name at the summit now with Edin Džeko taking over top spot, followed closely by Aritz Aduriz.

1: Edin Džeko (Roma)
Džeko ended Giuliano's two-month reign at the top with a spectacular hat-trick as Roma beat Viktoria Plzeň 4-1 to qualify. He converted three of his seven attempts at goal, had six dribbles and produced two crosses.

Džeko said: "The first was a nice goal – I did well with my left foot – but I don't know if it's the best goal I have scored since I have been here in Rome. It was important to win, we did, and now we're through to the next stage."

Aritz Aduriz after scoring against Sassuolo
Aritz Aduriz after scoring against Sassuolo©AFP/Getty Images

2: Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Club)
After scoring five last time out against Genk, Aduriz followed up with a goal and an assist in Athletic's progress-clinching 3-2 win against Sassuolo to also overtake Giuliano. That takes the 35-year-old's haul to 11 for club and country this season.

Aduriz said: "It was a very physical game and I didn't feel bad, although I might have done better on another day. I tried to bring things to the team and I've done so with a goal and an assist. A player always tries to give everything – sometimes it goes well, sometimes not, but we always try."

11: Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina)
Fiorentina lost 3-2 at home to PAOK, but it was no fault of Bernardeschi's. He began the fightback from 2-0 down with a goal, hit the woodwork and completed 38 of his 47 passes. In addition, he had six dribbles and delivered five crosses to move up 26 places.

Bernardeschi said: "I played a good game, I have to continue like this, but I am more disappointed about the defeat than happy about my performance."

Bruno Soriano (left) was on target in Switzerland
Bruno Soriano (left) was on target in Switzerland©AFP/Getty Images

12: Bruno Soriano (Villarreal)
Villarreal's key midfielder Soriano rose 13 places to 12th after his goal and strong defensive display in the 1-1 draw at Zürich. As is so often the case, he was instrumental in launching attacks, finding a team-mate with all but two of his 39 passes, but his defensive stats stood out in particular: six balls recovered and five clearances.

Soriano said: "Unfortunately we didn't win. Of course, I am happy with my performance, but without a victory I cannot say it was a perfect evening. I'm sorry I did not score another goal in the second half."

17: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Not only has Rooney become United's all-time leading marksman in European competitions, he has rocketed 44 places to 17th overall after his pivotal role in their 4-0 defeat of Feyenoord at Old Trafford. He supplied six crosses, had two dribbles, broke the deadlock and added an assist.

19: Raúl García (Athletic Club)
The Athletic playmaker capped an excellent week, following up his winner versus Villarreal in the Liga with an equaliser against Sassuolo. He won five aerial duels, laid on three crosses and recovered four balls as he demonstrated all the facets of his game.

García said: "As always, I try to bring my experience in the UEFA Europa League. I was fortunate enough to score, but what is always important is the team getting what it needs, which is a victory."

Khouma Babacar enjoys his goal
Khouma Babacar enjoys his goal©AFP/Getty Images

30: Khouma Babacar (Fiorentina)
Despite his team succumbing 3-2 to PAOK, Babacar took his UEFA Europa League tally to four goals this term and conjured an assist for good measure. The striker was a constant threat with his pace.

Babacar said: "We played very well. We should have been more careful on their counters. We have to keep our chins up and concentrate on the next game. We need to keep playing like this and win our last match. I scored, but we lost. I'd rather have it the other way."

  • Patrik Andersson's view

"Edin Džeko has scored ten goals in 12 domestic games to propel Roma to second in Serie A, and he continued to mine this rich seam of form last night with his first UEFA club competition hat-trick.

"Aritz Aduriz scored again after making history with five goals against Genk on matchday six – I am looking forward to seeing what he will come up with next.

"Wayne Rooney is also a notable riser, as he finally starts to show some of the form we know he's capable of. I hope this will inspire him in domestic league games.

"Who will top the rankings at the end of the group stage? Find out after the concluding matches on 8 December."

Patrik Andersson is a former Bayern München, Barcelona and Borussia Mönchengladbach defender. He won 96 caps for Sweden, reaching the semi-finals of EURO '92 and the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and was part of the Bayern side that won the UEFA Champions League in 2001 – he made the UEFA.com user's Team of the Year that year.


He retired in 2005 and now lives in Stockholm, venue for this season's UEFA Europa League final. He is serving as ambassador for the showpiece and is this campaign's FedEx Performance Zone ambassador.