South American Footballer of the Year

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Elías Figueroa and Carlos Tévez 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 Carlos Sánchez of River Plate, who won in 2015.

Winners[edit]

Between 1971 and 1985, the South American Footballer of the Year was named by El Mundo.
Year 1st Pts 2nd Pts 3rd Pts
1971 Brazil Tostão (Cruzeiro) N/A Argentina José Omar Pastoriza (Independiente) N/A Argentina Luis Artime (Nacional) N/A
1972 Peru Teófilo Cubillas (Alianza Lima) N/A Brazil Pelé (Santos) N/A Brazil Jairzinho (Botafogo) N/A
1973 Brazil Pelé (Santos) N/A Argentina Miguel Ángel Brindisi (Huracán) N/A Brazil Rivelino (Corinthians) N/A
1974 Chile Elías Figueroa (Internacional) N/A Brazil Marinho Chagas (Botafogo) N/A Argentina Carlos Babington (SG Wattenscheid 09) N/A
1975 Chile Elías Figueroa (Internacional) N/A Argentina Norberto Alonso (River Plate) N/A Uruguay Fernando Morena (Peñarol) N/A
1976 Chile Elías Figueroa (Internacional) N/A Brazil Zico (Flamengo) N/A Brazil Rivelino (Fluminense) N/A
1977 Brazil Zico (Flamengo) N/A Brazil Rivelino (Fluminense) N/A Chile Elías Figueroa (Palestino) N/A
1978 Argentina Mario Kempes (Valencia) N/A Argentina Ubaldo Fillol (River Plate) N/A Brazil Dirceu (América) N/A
1979 Argentina Diego Maradona (Argentinos Juniors) N/A Paraguay Julio César Romero (Sportivo Luqueño N/A Brazil Falcão (Internacional) N/A
1980 Argentina Diego Maradona (Argentinos Juniors) N/A Brazil Zico (Flamengo) N/A Uruguay Waldemar Victorino (Nacional) N/A
1981 Brazil Zico (Flamengo) N/A Argentina Diego Maradona (Boca Juniors) N/A Brazil Júnior (Flamengo) N/A
1982 Brazil Zico (Flamengo) N/A Brazil Falcão (Roma) N/A Argentina Diego Maradona (Barcelona) N/A
1983 Brazil Sócrates (Corinthians) N/A Argentina Ubaldo Fillol (Argentinos Juniors) N/A Brazil Éder (Atlético Mineiro) N/A
1984 Uruguay Enzo Francescoli (River Plate) N/A Argentina Ubaldo Fillol (Flamengo) N/A Argentina Ricardo Bochini (Independiente) N/A
1985 Paraguay Julio César Romero (Fluminense) N/A Uruguay Enzo Francescoli (River Plate) N/A Argentina Claudio Borghi (Argentinos Juniors) N/A
From 1986, the South American Footballer of the Year was named by El País.
Year 1st Pts 2nd Pts 3rd Pts
1986 Uruguay Antonio Alzamendi (River Plate) N/A Brazil Careca (São Paulo) N/A Paraguay Julio César Romero (Fluminense) N/A
1987 Colombia Carlos Valderrama (Deportivo Cali) N/A Uruguay Obdulio Trasante (Peñarol) N/A Uruguay José Perdomo (Peñarol) N/A
1988 Uruguay Rubén Paz (Racing Club) N/A Uruguay Hugo de León (Nacional) N/A Uruguay José Pintos Saldanha (Nacional) N/A
1989 Brazil Bebeto (Vasco da Gama) 74 Brazil Mazinho (Vasco da Gama) 42 Colombia René Higuita (Atlético Nacional) 34
1990 Paraguay Raúl Amarilla (Olimpia) 57 Uruguay Rubén da Silva (River Plate) 32 Colombia Leonel Álvarez (Atlético Nacional)
Colombia René Higuita (Atlético Nacional)
25
1991 Argentina Oscar Ruggeri (Vélez Sársfield) 44 Argentina Ramón Díaz (River Plate) 28 Chile Patricio Toledo (Universidad Católica) 23
1992 Brazil Raí (São Paulo) 55 Argentina Sergio Goycochea (Olimpia) 24 Argentina Alberto Acosta (San Lorenzo)
Argentina Fernando Gamboa (Newell's Old Boys)
20
1993 Colombia Carlos Valderrama (Atlético Junior) 46 Bolivia Marco Etcheverry (Colo-Colo) 30 Brazil Cafu (São Paulo)
Colombia Freddy Rincón (Palmeiras)
28
1994 Brazil Cafu (São Paulo) 36 Paraguay José Luis Chilavert (Vélez Sársfield) 35 Argentina Gustavo López (Independiente) 22
1995 Uruguay Enzo Francescoli (River Plate) 34 Argentina Diego Maradona (Boca Juniors) 28 Brazil Edmundo (Flamengo) 24
1996 Paraguay José Luis Chilavert (Vélez Sársfield) 80 Uruguay Enzo Francescoli (River Plate) 69 Argentina Ariel Ortega (River Plate)
Colombia Carlos Valderrama (Atlético Junior)
41
1997 Chile Marcelo Salas (River Plate) 87 Peru Nolberto Solano (Sporting Cristal) 39 Paraguay José Luis Chilavert (Vélez Sársfield) 37
1998 Argentina Martín Palermo (Boca Juniors) 73 Paraguay Carlos Gamarra (Corinthians) 70 Paraguay José Luis Chilavert (Vélez Sársfield) 63
1999 Argentina Javier Saviola (River Plate) 55 Paraguay Francisco Arce (Palmeiras 45 Argentina Juan Román Riquelme (Boca Juniors) 42
2000 Brazil Romario (Vasco da Gama) 67 Argentina Juan Román Riquelme (Boca Juniors) 64 Colombia Óscar Córdoba (Boca Juniors)
Argentina Martín Palermo (Boca Juniors)
53
2001 Argentina Juan Román Riquelme (Boca Juniors) 88 Colombia Óscar Córdoba (Boca Juniors) 59 Brazil Romario (Vasco da Gama) 41
2002 Paraguay José Cardozo (Toluca) 39 Uruguay Sergio Órteman (Olimpia) 32 Uruguay Alejandro Lembo (Nacional) 30
2003 Argentina Carlos Tevez (Boca Juniors) 73 Paraguay José Cardozo (Toluca) 39 Brazil Diego (Santos) 33
2004 Argentina Carlos Tevez (Boca Juniors) 76 Argentina Javier Mascherano (River Plate) 56 Argentina Lucho González (River Plate)
Brazil Robinho (Santos)
37
2005 Argentina Carlos Tevez (Corinthians) 77 Uruguay Diego Lugano (São Paulo) 54 Brazil Cicinho (São Paulo) 37
2006 Chile Matías Fernández (Colo-Colo) 62 Argentina Rodrigo Palacio (Boca Juniors) 53 Argentina Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors) 50
2007 Paraguay Salvador Cabañas (América) 67 Paraguay Claudio Morel Rodríguez (Boca Juniors) 61 Argentina Hugo Ibarra (Boca Juniors) 57
2008 Argentina Juan Sebastián Verón (Estudiantes) 66 Argentina Juan Román Riquelme (Boca Juniors) 63 Paraguay Salvador Cabañas (América) 47
2009 Argentina Juan Sebastián Verón (Estudiantes) 109 Ecuador Édison Méndez (LDU Quito)
Chile Humberto Suazo (Monterrey)
64 Argentina Leandro Desábato (Estudiantes) 52
2010 Argentina Andrés D'Alessandro (Internacional) 61 Argentina Juan Sebastián Verón (Estudiantes) 51 Brazil Neymar (Santos) 47
2011 Brazil Neymar (Santos) 130 Chile Eduardo Vargas (Universidad de Chile) 70 Brazil Ganso (Santos) 33
2012 Brazil Neymar (Santos) 199 Peru Paolo Guerrero (Corinthians) 50 Brazil Lucas (São Paulo) 21
2013 Brazil Ronaldinho (Atlético Mineiro) 156 Brazil Neymar (Santos) 81 Argentina Maxi Rodríguez (Newell's Old Boys) 79
2014 Colombia Teófilo Gutiérrez (River Plate) 102 Uruguay Carlos Sanchez (River Plate) 49 Argentina Leonardo Pisculichi (River Plate) 30
2015 Uruguay Carlos Sanchez (River Plate) 182 Argentina Carlos Tevez ( Boca Juniors) 61 Ecuador Miler Bolaños (Emelec) 23

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 Carlos Tevez 3 (2003, 2004, 2005) 1 (2015)
Chile Elías Figueroa 3 (1974, 1975, 1976) 1 (1977)
Argentina Diego Maradona 2 (1979, 1980) 2 (1981, 1995) 1 (1982)
Uruguay Enzo Francescoli 2 (1984, 1995) 2 (1985, 1996)
Brazil Neymar 2 (2011, 2012) 1 (2013) 1 (2010)
Argentina Juan Sebastián Verón 2 (2008, 2009) 1 (2010)
Colombia Carlos Valderrama 2 (1987, 1993) 1 (1996)
Argentina Juan Román Riquelme 1 (2001) 2 (2000, 2008) 1 (1999)
Paraguay José Luis Chilavert 1 (1996) 1 (1994) 2 (1997, 1998)
Paraguay Julio César Romero 1 (1985) 1 (1979) 1 (1986)
Brazil Pelé 1 (1973) 1 (1972)
Paraguay José Cardozo 1 (2002) 1 (2003)
Uruguay Carlos Sanchez 1 (2015) 1 (2014)
Brazil Cafu 1 (1994) 1 (1993)
Argentina Martín Palermo 1 (1998) 1 (2000)
Brazil Romario 1 (2000) 1 (2001)
Paraguay Salvador Cabañas 1 (2007) 1 (2008)

Wins by nationality[edit]

Country Players Total
 Brazil 10 13
 Argentina 9 13
 Paraguay 5 5
 Uruguay 4 5
 Chile 3 5
 Colombia 2 3
 Peru 1 1

Wins by club[edit]

Club Players Total
Argentina River Plate 6 7
Argentina Boca Juniors 3 4
Brazil Internacional 2 4
Brazil Santos 2 3
Brazil Corinthians 2 2
Brazil Vasco da Gama 2 2
Brazil São Paulo 2 2
Argentina Vélez Sársfield 2 2
Brazil Flamengo 1 3
Argentina Argentinos Juniors 1 2
Argentina Estudiantes 1 2
Peru Alianza Lima 1 1
Mexico América 1 1
Brazil Atlético Mineiro 1 1
Chile Colo-Colo 1 1
Colombia Deportivo Cali 1 1
Brazil Fluminense 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]

External links[edit]