South American Footballer of the Year

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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.

Winners[edit]

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 Brazil Tostão Brazil Cruzeiro
2nd Argentina José Omar Pastoriza Argentina Independiente
3rd Argentina Luis Artime Uruguay Nacional
1972 1st Peru Teófilo Cubillas Peru Alianza Lima
2nd Brazil Pelé Brazil Santos
3rd Brazil Jairzinho Brazil Botafogo
1973 1st Brazil Pelé Brazil Santos
2nd Argentina Miguel Ángel Brindisi Argentina Huracán
3rd Brazil Rivellino Brazil Corinthians
1974 1st Chile Elías Figueroa Brazil Internacional
2nd Brazil Marinho Chagas Brazil Botafogo
3rd Argentina Carlos Babington Germany SG Wattenscheid 09
1975 1st Chile Elías Figueroa Brazil Internacional
2nd Argentina Norberto Alonso Argentina River Plate
3rd Uruguay Fernando Morena Uruguay Peñarol
1976 1st Chile Elías Figueroa Brazil Internacional
2nd Brazil Zico Brazil Flamengo
3rd Brazil Rivellino Brazil Fluminense
1977 1st Brazil Zico Brazil Flamengo
2nd Brazil Rivellino Brazil Fluminense
3rd Chile Elías Figueroa Chile Palestino
1978 1st Argentina Mario Kempes Spain Valencia
2nd Argentina Ubaldo Fillol Argentina River Plate
3rd Brazil Dirceu Mexico América
1979 1st Argentina Diego Maradona Argentina Argentinos Juniors
2nd Paraguay Julio César Romero Paraguay Sportivo Luqueño
3rd Brazil Falcão Brazil Internacional
1980 1st Argentina Diego Maradona Argentina Argentinos Juniors
2nd Brazil Zico Brazil Flamengo
3rd Uruguay Waldemar Victorino Uruguay Nacional
1981 1st Brazil Zico Brazil Flamengo
2nd Argentina Diego Maradona Argentina Boca Juniors
3rd Brazil Júnior Brazil Flamengo
1982 1st Brazil Zico Brazil Flamengo
2nd Brazil Falcão Italy Roma
3rd Argentina Diego Maradona Spain Barcelona
1983 1st Brazil Sócrates Brazil Corinthians
2nd Argentina Ubaldo Fillol Argentina Argentinos Juniors
3rd Brazil Éder Brazil Atlético Mineiro
1984 1st Uruguay Enzo Francescoli Argentina River Plate
2nd Argentina Ubaldo Fillol Brazil Flamengo
3rd Argentina Ricardo Bochini Argentina Independiente
1985 1st Paraguay Julio César Romero Brazil Fluminense
2nd Uruguay Enzo Francescoli Argentina River Plate
3rd Argentina Claudio Borghi Argentina 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 Uruguay Antonio Alzamendi Argentina River Plate
2nd Brazil Careca Brazil São Paulo
3rd Paraguay Julio César Romero Brazil Fluminense
1987 1st Colombia Carlos Valderrama Colombia Deportivo Cali
2nd Uruguay Obdulio Trasante Uruguay Peñarol
3rd Uruguay José Perdomo Uruguay Peñarol
1988 1st Uruguay Rubén Paz Argentina Racing Club
2nd Uruguay Hugo de León Uruguay Nacional
3rd Uruguay José Pintos Saldanha Uruguay Nacional
1989 1st Brazil Bebeto Brazil Vasco da Gama 74
2nd Brazil Mazinho Brazil Vasco da Gama 42
3rd Colombia René Higuita Colombia Atlético Nacional 34
1990 1st Paraguay Raúl Vicente Amarilla Paraguay Olimpia 57
2nd Uruguay Rubén da Silva Argentina River Plate 32
3rd Colombia Leonel Álvarez Colombia Atlético Nacional 25
Colombia René Higuita Colombia Atlético Nacional
1991 1st Argentina Oscar Ruggeri Argentina Vélez Sarsfield 44
2nd Argentina Ramón Díaz Argentina River Plate 28
3rd Chile Patricio Toledo Chile Universidad Católica 23
1992 1st Brazil Raí Brazil São Paulo 55
2nd Argentina Sergio Goycochea Paraguay Olimpia 24
3rd Argentina Alberto Acosta Argentina San Lorenzo 20
Argentina Fernando Gamboa Argentina Newell's Old Boys
1993 1st Colombia Carlos Valderrama Colombia Junior 46
2nd Bolivia Marco Etcheverry Chile Colo-Colo 30
3rd Brazil Cafu Brazil São Paulo 28
Colombia Freddy Rincón Brazil Palmeiras
1994 1st Brazil Cafu Brazil São Paulo 36
2nd Paraguay José Luis Chilavert Argentina Vélez Sarsfield 35
3rd Argentina Gustavo Adrián López Argentina Independiente 22
1995 1st Uruguay Enzo Francescoli Argentina River Plate 34
2nd Argentina Diego Maradona Argentina Boca Juniors 28
3rd Brazil Edmundo Brazil Flamengo 24
1996 1st Paraguay José Luis Chilavert Argentina Vélez Sarsfield 80
2nd Uruguay Enzo Francescoli Argentina River Plate 69
3rd Argentina Ariel Ortega Argentina River Plate 41
Colombia Carlos Valderrama Colombia Junior
1997 1st Chile Marcelo Salas Argentina River Plate 87
2nd Peru Nolberto Solano Peru Sporting Cristal 39
3rd Paraguay José Luis Chilavert Argentina Vélez Sarsfield 37
1998 1st Argentina Martín Palermo Argentina Boca Juniors 73
2nd Paraguay Carlos Gamarra Brazil Corinthians 70
3rd Paraguay José Luis Chilavert Argentina Vélez Sarsfield 63
1999 1st Argentina Javier Saviola Argentina River Plate 55
2nd Paraguay Francisco Arce Brazil Palmeiras 45
3rd Argentina Juan Román Riquelme Argentina Boca Juniors 42
2000 1st Brazil Romário Brazil Vasco da Gama 67
2nd Argentina Juan Román Riquelme Argentina Boca Juniors 64
3rd Colombia Óscar Córdoba Argentina Boca Juniors 53
Argentina Martín Palermo Argentina Boca Juniors
2001 1st Argentina Juan Román Riquelme Argentina Boca Juniors 88
2nd Colombia Óscar Córdoba Argentina Boca Juniors 59
3rd Brazil Romário Brazil Vasco da Gama 41
2002 1st Paraguay José Cardozo Mexico Toluca 39
2nd Uruguay Sergio Órteman Paraguay Olimpia 32
3rd Uruguay Alejandro Lembo Uruguay Nacional 30
2003 1st Argentina Carlos Tevez Argentina Boca Juniors 73
2nd Paraguay José Cardozo Mexico Toluca 39
3rd Brazil Diego Brazil Santos 33
2004 1st Argentina Carlos Tevez Argentina Boca Juniors 76
2nd Argentina Javier Mascherano Argentina River Plate 56
3rd Argentina Lucho González Argentina River Plate 37
Brazil Robinho Brazil Santos
2005 1st Argentina Carlos Tevez Brazil Corinthians 77
2nd Uruguay Diego Lugano Brazil São Paulo 54
3rd Brazil Cicinho Brazil São Paulo 37
2006 1st Chile Matías Fernández Chile Colo-Colo 62
2nd Argentina Rodrigo Palacio Argentina Boca Juniors 53
3rd Argentina Fernando Gago Argentina Boca Juniors 50
2007 1st Paraguay Salvador Cabañas Mexico América 67
2nd Paraguay Claudio Morel Rodríguez Argentina Boca Juniors 61
3rd Argentina Hugo Ibarra Argentina Boca Juniors 57
2008 1st Argentina Juan Sebastián Verón Argentina Estudiantes 66
2nd Argentina Juan Román Riquelme Argentina Boca Juniors 63
3rd Paraguay Salvador Cabañas Mexico América 47
2009 1st Argentina Juan Sebastián Verón Argentina Estudiantes 109
2nd Ecuador Édison Méndez Ecuador LDU Quito 64
Chile Humberto Suazo Mexico Monterrey
3rd Argentina Leandro Desábato Argentina Estudiantes 52
2010 1st Argentina Andrés D'Alessandro Brazil Internacional 61
2nd Argentina Juan Sebastián Verón Argentina Estudiantes 51
3rd Brazil Neymar Brazil Santos 47
2011 1st Brazil Neymar Brazil Santos 130
2nd Chile Eduardo Vargas Chile Universidad de Chile 70
3rd Brazil Paulo Henrique Ganso Brazil Santos 33
2012 1st Brazil Neymar Brazil Santos 199
2nd Peru Paolo Guerrero Brazil Corinthians 50
3rd Brazil Lucas Moura Brazil São Paulo 21
2013 1st Brazil Ronaldinho Brazil Atlético Mineiro 156
2nd Brazil Neymar Brazil Santos 81
3rd Argentina Maxi Rodríguez Argentina Newell's Old Boys 79
2014 1st Colombia Teófilo Gutiérrez Argentina River Plate 102
2nd Uruguay Carlos Sánchez Argentina River Plate 49
3rd Argentina Leonardo Pisculichi Argentina River Plate 30
2015 1st Uruguay Carlos Sánchez Argentina River Plate 182
2nd Argentina Carlos Tevez Argentina Boca Juniors 61
3rd Ecuador Miller Bolaños Ecuador Emelec 23
2016 1st Colombia Miguel Borja Colombia Atlético Nacional 85
2nd Brazil Gabriel Jesus Brazil Palmeiras 76
3rd Venezuela Alejandro Guerra Colombia Atlético Nacional 50
2017 1st Brazil Luan Brazil Grêmio 182
2nd Peru Paolo Guerrero Brazil Flamengo 65
3rd Brazil Arthur Brazil Grêmio 46
2018 1st Argentina Pity Martínez Argentina River Plate 130
2nd Colombia Juan Fernando Quintero Argentina River Plate 49
3rd Argentina Franco Armani Argentina River Plate 40

Wins by player[edit]

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

Wins by nationality[edit]

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 club[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]