Zenit’s Giuliano remains the man to beat at the top of the UEFA Europa League form rankings, with other rapid risers competing hard for attention in the FedEx Performance Zone.
1: Giuliano (Zenit)
A goal and an assist in Zenit’s 5-0 thrashing of AZ Alkmaar means Giuliano continues to set the pace though he was inclined to understate his contribution when he spoke to UEFA.com: “This was a team performance,” the Brazilian attacking midfielder noted. “I am very happy that I am getting noticed personally, but I am more happy that we have won two games, have six points and that everything is good.”
2: Leon Bailey (Genk)
Tormentor of Sassuolo on matchday two, the 19-year-old Jamaican winger is turning heads across Europe with his goalscoring form: three in the UEFA Europa League and nine shots on target – which is four more than any other player in the group stage.
3: Beñat Etxebarria (Athletic)
The midfielder broke into the top three with a goal and an inspiring all-round showing in the 1-0 victory over Rapid Wien. He connected with 56 of his 67 passes, recovered three balls as part of his defensive work, and produced four crosses to climb 11 places.
4: Joãozinho (Krasnodar)
Level with Bailey on three goals’ as this season’s group stage top scorer, the Brazilian winger dazzled in a 5-2 defeat of Nice. “I am delighted that I scored twice and helped my friend Ari to score,” he told UEFA.com. “It was one of my best games for Krasnodar, but I don’t want to praise myself. Our fans saw a solid, cohesive team. Everyone fought well, and that is much more important than any personal achievements.”
17: Nikola Kalinić (Fiorentina)
The striker was the biggest mover of the night, rising 299 places with a goal and two assists in a 5-1 win against Qarabağ in Florence.
24: Francesco Totti (Roma)
Two days after his 40th birthday, the forward had a hand in three of his side’s four goals against Astra, and he told UEFA.com: “We played well and won, which is what our coach and the fans want. In the first half, I joked with the physio that even at 25 I didn’t feel this good. It’s true. I’m physically fine and my legs took me through 90 minutes.”