Who Is Hot and Who Is Not in World Football After Weekend of August 22-24

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2014

Who Is Hot and Who Is Not in World Football After Weekend of August 22-24

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Another weekend of big action has taken place around the football world, with plenty of individuals earning recognition for their feats.

    In the case of some it's for spectacular performances or goals, but not for everyone—some familiar faces, especially in Spain, need to have their indiscretions highlighted this time around.

    Here is our weekly run down on who's hot and who's not; leave your own choices below as always.

Hot: Thierry Henry

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    Mel Evans/Associated Press

    Thierry Henry was in form for NY Red Bulls over the weekend, scoring twice and claiming one assist as his side overcame Montreal Impact 4-2.

    The former Barcelona and Arsenal forward was the best player on the park, not just for his goals but his all-round approach to the game and ability to bring others into play in the final third.

    Those three points helped NYRB up to fifth in the Eastern Conference and into the playoff places. 

Not: Junior Malanda

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Managing the complete opposite to Thierry Henry was Wolfsburg's Junior Malanda.

    The Belgian midfielder found himself with a golden opportunity to score for his side against none other than reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in the opening game of the new season, in what was for long periods a tight match.

    Presented with a chance to level the tie, the 19-year-old managed to roll the ball off his shin and past the post with nobody between himself and the goal line.

    Not the best ever finish and Wolfsburg ended up losing just 2-1.

Hot: Erik Lamela

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    Erik Lamela, Tottenham's record signing, had a season to forget in his debut Premier League campaign. He barely featured in the first half of 2013-14, was injured for the second and went through two managers.

    This season Lamela has started in great form and was instrumental in Spurs' 4-0 thrashing of QPR at the weekend, laying on two goals for his team-mates and looking far closer to the effective final-third threat that he was at Roma.

    On this evidence, the Argentine is set for a big second season at White Hart Lane.

Not: Tom Cleverley

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Manchester United had a whole host of poor performers in their 1-1 draw against Sunderland, offering yet more evidence that it will be a lengthy rebuilding job rather than a quick fix to return to the top.

    While any player could have been selected for this slide, the midfield was particularly below par and Tom Cleverley was central to that.

    His passing was average in both accuracy and intensity, he was overrun at times and left gaps in behind and didn't really deal with Sunderland on the counter in any way.

Hot: Memphis Depay

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    Peter Dejong/Associated Press

    Memphis Depay continues to star at the beginning of 2014-15 and makes our "Hot" list again following another goal at the weekend.

    This time it was Depay who scored the equaliser for PSV, at the home of champions Ajax, before his side went on to take the win 3-1.

    It's now five goals and one assist for Depay in three Eredivisie games.

Not: Diego Simeone

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Over to Spain now for our final three slides, and one name from each of the big three clubs.

    First up is Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, who hasn't begun his league season yet but has already accrued an eight-game touchline suspension.

    The Atleti boss reacted angrily in the Super Cup second leg, which Atletico beat Real Madrid in, when one of his players was not allowed back onto the pitch, touching the assistant on the head and sarcastically applauding the decision to send him off.

    Not the best way to start a defence of a league title.

Hot: Lionel Messi

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Barcelona next, and Lionel Messi got underway for the 2014-15 season with two brilliantly taken goals and a fine all-round performance.

    Barca were facing modest opposition in Elche in the league opener, which the Catalan side won 3-0, but Messi was still the clear difference between the two with his movement and agility.

    Looking to reclaim his top scorer status, challenge to be a five-time Ballon d'Or winner and help Barcelona back among the trophies this season, Messi couldn't have started in much better shape.

Not: Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Finally, Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo.

    From the same game as the Simeone incident, the Super Cup second leg, Ronaldo could be clearly seen throwing repeated punches into Diego Godin's head and shoulder areas from a corner kick.

    It appears no action will be taken against the Portuguese forward, which is quite incredible—but he deservedly makes our "Not" list for it in any case.