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South American Footballer of the Year

Elías Figueroa and Carlos Tevez were each named the South American Footballer of the Year three times in succession, three decades apart.

The Rey del Fútbol de América ("King of Football of America"), often referred to as the South American Footballer of the Year, is an annual association football award presented to the best footballer in South America over the previous calendar year. The award was conceived by Venezuelan newspaper El Mundo, which awarded it from 1971 to 1985. Uruguayan newspaper El País took over from 1986 onwards.

Originally, journalists could vote for South American players at any club around the world, but in 1986, there was a change in rules to prohibit players not playing in South American leagues from winning the award. From 1998, eligibility extended to South Americans playing in Mexico due to the participation of Mexican clubs in the Copa Libertadores.

The inaugural winner was Tostão of Cruzeiro. Mario Kempes, who played for Spanish club Valencia, was the only player to win the award while playing in a non-South American league. Three players have won the award three times each: Elías Figueroa of Internacional, Zico of Flamengo, and Carlos Tevez of Boca Juniors and Corinthians; Figueroa and Tevez did so in consecutive years. With 13 awards, Argentine and Brazilian players are tied for having won the most awards. Argentine club River Plate have had the most winners with seven awards. The most recent recipient of the award is Pity Martínez of River Plate, who won in 2018.

WinnersEdit

El Mundo award (1971–1985)Edit

The award by newspaper El Mundo was awarded to the best South American footballer between 1971 and 1985.

Year Rank Player Team
1971 1st   Tostão   Cruzeiro
2nd   José Omar Pastoriza   Independiente
3rd   Luis Artime   Nacional
1972 1st   Teófilo Cubillas   Alianza Lima
2nd   Pelé   Santos
3rd   Jairzinho   Botafogo
1973 1st   Pelé   Santos
2nd   Miguel Ángel Brindisi   Huracán
3rd   Rivellino   Corinthians
1974 1st   Elías Figueroa   Internacional
2nd   Marinho Chagas   Botafogo
3rd   Carlos Babington   SG Wattenscheid 09
1975 1st   Elías Figueroa   Internacional
2nd   Norberto Alonso   River Plate
3rd   Fernando Morena   Peñarol
1976 1st   Elías Figueroa   Internacional
2nd   Zico   Flamengo
3rd   Rivellino   Fluminense
1977 1st   Zico   Flamengo
2nd   Rivellino   Fluminense
3rd   Elías Figueroa   Palestino
1978 1st   Mario Kempes   Valencia
2nd   Ubaldo Fillol   River Plate
3rd   Dirceu   América
1979 1st   Diego Maradona   Argentinos Juniors
2nd   Julio César Romero   Sportivo Luqueño
3rd   Falcão   Internacional
1980 1st   Diego Maradona   Argentinos Juniors
2nd   Zico   Flamengo
3rd   Waldemar Victorino   Nacional
1981 1st   Zico   Flamengo
2nd   Diego Maradona   Boca Juniors
3rd   Júnior   Flamengo
1982 1st   Zico   Flamengo
2nd   Falcão   Roma
3rd   Diego Maradona   Barcelona
1983 1st   Sócrates   Corinthians
2nd   Ubaldo Fillol   Argentinos Juniors
3rd   Éder   Atlético Mineiro
1984 1st   Enzo Francescoli   River Plate
2nd   Ubaldo Fillol   Flamengo
3rd   Ricardo Bochini   Independiente
1985 1st   Julio César Romero   Fluminense
2nd   Enzo Francescoli   River Plate
3rd   Claudio Borghi   Argentinos Juniors

El País award (1986–present)Edit

From 1986, the South American Footballer of the Year was named by El País.

Year Rank Player Team Points
1986 1st   Antonio Alzamendi   River Plate
2nd   Careca   São Paulo
3rd   Julio César Romero   Fluminense
1987 1st   Carlos Valderrama   Deportivo Cali
2nd   Obdulio Trasante   Peñarol
3rd   José Perdomo   Peñarol
1988 1st   Rubén Paz   Racing Club
2nd   Hugo de León   Nacional
3rd   José Pintos Saldanha   Nacional
1989 1st   Bebeto   Vasco da Gama 74
2nd   Mazinho   Vasco da Gama 42
3rd   René Higuita   Atlético Nacional 34
1990 1st   Raúl Vicente Amarilla   Olimpia 57
2nd   Rubén da Silva   River Plate 32
3rd   Leonel Álvarez   Atlético Nacional 25
  René Higuita   Atlético Nacional
1991 1st   Oscar Ruggeri   Vélez Sarsfield 44
2nd   Ramón Díaz   River Plate 28
3rd   Patricio Toledo   Universidad Católica 23
1992 1st   Raí   São Paulo 55
2nd   Sergio Goycochea   Olimpia 24
3rd   Alberto Acosta   San Lorenzo 20
  Fernando Gamboa   Newell's Old Boys
1993 1st   Carlos Valderrama   Junior 46
2nd   Marco Etcheverry   Colo-Colo 30
3rd   Cafu   São Paulo 28
  Freddy Rincón   Palmeiras
1994 1st   Cafu   São Paulo 36
2nd   José Luis Chilavert   Vélez Sarsfield 35
3rd   Gustavo Adrián López   Independiente 22
1995 1st   Enzo Francescoli   River Plate 34
2nd   Diego Maradona   Boca Juniors 28
3rd   Edmundo   Flamengo 24
1996 1st   José Luis Chilavert   Vélez Sarsfield 80
2nd   Enzo Francescoli   River Plate 69
3rd   Ariel Ortega   River Plate 41
  Carlos Valderrama   Junior
1997 1st   Marcelo Salas   River Plate 87
2nd   Nolberto Solano   Sporting Cristal 39
3rd   José Luis Chilavert   Vélez Sarsfield 37
1998 1st   Martín Palermo   Boca Juniors 73
2nd   Carlos Gamarra   Corinthians 70
3rd   José Luis Chilavert   Vélez Sarsfield 63
1999 1st   Javier Saviola   River Plate 55
2nd   Francisco Arce   Palmeiras 45
3rd   Juan Román Riquelme   Boca Juniors 42
2000 1st   Romário   Vasco da Gama 67
2nd   Juan Román Riquelme   Boca Juniors 64
3rd   Óscar Córdoba   Boca Juniors 53
  Martín Palermo   Boca Juniors
2001 1st   Juan Román Riquelme   Boca Juniors 88
2nd   Óscar Córdoba   Boca Juniors 59
3rd   Romário   Vasco da Gama 41
2002 1st   José Cardozo   Toluca 39
2nd   Sergio Órteman   Olimpia 32
3rd   Alejandro Lembo   Nacional 30
2003 1st   Carlos Tevez   Boca Juniors 73
2nd   José Cardozo   Toluca 39
3rd   Diego   Santos 33
2004 1st   Carlos Tevez   Boca Juniors 76
2nd   Javier Mascherano   River Plate 56
3rd   Lucho González   River Plate 37
  Robinho   Santos
2005 1st   Carlos Tevez   Corinthians 77
2nd   Diego Lugano   São Paulo 54
3rd   Cicinho   São Paulo 37
2006 1st   Matías Fernández   Colo-Colo 62
2nd   Rodrigo Palacio   Boca Juniors 53
3rd   Fernando Gago   Boca Juniors 50
2007 1st   Salvador Cabañas   América 67
2nd   Claudio Morel Rodríguez   Boca Juniors 61
3rd   Hugo Ibarra   Boca Juniors 57
2008 1st   Juan Sebastián Verón   Estudiantes 66
2nd   Juan Román Riquelme   Boca Juniors 63
3rd   Salvador Cabañas   América 47
2009 1st   Juan Sebastián Verón   Estudiantes 109
2nd   Édison Méndez   LDU Quito 64
  Humberto Suazo   Monterrey
3rd   Leandro Desábato   Estudiantes 52
2010 1st   Andrés D'Alessandro   Internacional 61
2nd   Juan Sebastián Verón   Estudiantes 51
3rd   Neymar   Santos 47
2011 1st   Neymar   Santos 130
2nd   Eduardo Vargas   Universidad de Chile 70
3rd   Paulo Henrique Ganso   Santos 33
2012 1st   Neymar   Santos 199
2nd   Paolo Guerrero   Corinthians 50
3rd   Lucas Moura   São Paulo 21
2013 1st   Ronaldinho   Atlético Mineiro 156
2nd   Neymar   Santos 81
3rd   Maxi Rodríguez   Newell's Old Boys 79
2014 1st   Teófilo Gutiérrez   River Plate 102
2nd   Carlos Sánchez   River Plate 49
3rd   Leonardo Pisculichi   River Plate 30
2015 1st   Carlos Sánchez   River Plate 182
2nd   Carlos Tevez   Boca Juniors 61
3rd   Miller Bolaños   Emelec 23
2016 1st   Miguel Borja   Atlético Nacional 85
2nd   Gabriel Jesus   Palmeiras 76
3rd   Alejandro Guerra   Atlético Nacional 50
2017 1st   Luan   Grêmio 182
2nd   Paolo Guerrero   Flamengo 65
3rd   Arthur   Grêmio 46
2018 1st   Pity Martínez   River Plate 130
2nd   Juan Fernando Quintero   River Plate 49
3rd   Franco Armani   River Plate 40

Wins by playerEdit

Javier Saviola and Romário were the youngest and oldest winners at age 18 and age 34, respectively.
Player 1st 2nd 3rd
  Zico 3 (1977, 1981, 1982) 2 (1976, 1980)
  Figueroa 3 (1974, 1975, 1976) 1 (1977)
  Tevez 3 (2003, 2004, 2005) 1 (2015)
  Maradona 2 (1979, 1980) 2 (1981, 1995) 1 (1982)
  Francescoli 2 (1984, 1995) 2 (1985, 1996)
  Neymar 2 (2011, 2012) 1 (2013) 1 (2010)
  Verón 2 (2008, 2009) 1 (2010)
  Valderrama 2 (1987, 1993) 1 (1996)
  Riquelme 1 (2001) 2 (2000, 2008) 1 (1999)
  Chilavert 1 (1996) 1 (1994) 2 (1997, 1998)
  Romero 1 (1985) 1 (1979) 1 (1986)
  Pelé 1 (1973) 1 (1972)
  Cardozo 1 (2002) 1 (2003)
  Sanchez 1 (2015) 1 (2014)
  Cafu 1 (1994) 1 (1993)
  Palermo 1 (1998) 1 (2000)
  Romario 1 (2000) 1 (2001)
  Cabañas 1 (2007) 1 (2008)
  Tostão 1 (1971)
  Cubillas 1 (1972)
  Sócrates 1 (1983)
  Bebeto 1 (1989)
  Borja 1 (2016)
  Luan 1 (2017)
  Martínez 1 (2018)

Wins by nationalityEdit

Country Players Total
  Brazil 11 14
  Argentina 10 14
  Paraguay 5 5
  Uruguay 4 5
  Chile 3 5
  Colombia 3 4
  Peru 1 1

Wins by clubEdit

Club Players Total
  River Plate 7 8
  Boca Juniors 3 4
  Internacional 2 4
  Santos 2 3
  Flamengo 1 3
  Corinthians 2 2
  São Paulo 2 2
  Vasco da Gama 2 2
  Vélez Sársfield 2 2
  Argentinos Juniors 1 2
  Estudiantes 1 2
  Alianza Lima 1 1
  América 1 1
  Atlético Mineiro 1 1
  Atlético Nacional 1 1
  Colo-Colo 1 1
  Cruzeiro 1 1
  Deportivo Cali 1 1
  Fluminense 1 1
  Grêmio 1 1
  Junior 1 1
  Olimpia 1 1
  Racing 1 1
  Toluca 1 1
  Valencia 1 1

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Pierrend, José Luis (16 January 2009). "South American Coach and Player of the Year". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 18 January 2016.

External linksEdit