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Riquelme Finishes Second In Player of Year Voting

Juan Sebastián Verón might have called an end to the European leg of his illustrious career a few years back, but he’s quality has not diminished one bit. One the eve of 2009, the former Sampdoria, Parma, Lazio, and Inter star was chosen as the South American Player of the Year by the Uruguayan daily El País.


Verón beat national team partner and former Villarreal playmaker Juan Román Riquelme by three votes. Riquelme comes off a very impressive second half of the year where his team won the Apertura tournament and the South American Recopa. He also won the Olympic gold medal with Argentina in Beijing.

Verón also beat last year’s winner, America (MEX) striker and Paraguayan international, Salvador Cabañas by 19. Another Argentine, Andrés D’Alessandro came out in fourth place despite leading Inter to the Copa Sudamericana title.

Liga de Quito goalkeeper José Cevallos, who was the hero in this year’s Copa Libertadores rounded out the top five. Cevallos was instrumental in the Ecuadorian side’s first-ever international title when he stopped three penalties in the tournament final against Brazilian side Fluminense.

Verón’s selection was controversial. Despite leading Estudiantes to the final of the Copa Sudamericana, he did not win any titles as compared to some of the players that ended up behind him in the results.

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  1. Juan

    January 2, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Another person to get snubbed was Sebastian Battaglia. He was the best player for Boca this semester hands down. He was the best player in the Argentine league… over Verón. But then again.

  2. Nash

    January 2, 2009 at 3:58 am

    It is rather disappointing that Riquelme didnt win this title. Obviously Riquelme is a rare breed. His playing style is out of this world. He realy makes differenence in the mid-field and can change the pace of the game. Riquelme is incomparable.

  3. Juan

    January 1, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Well, it is disappointing to see that there were no Brazilian players in the mix. Cevallos was not the star for LDUQ, yet he was top five. I mean guys like Richarlyson or Washington weren´t in the mix is kind of showing how biased this is. Diego Lugano and Carlos Tevez was the last players in Brazil to win this award. You are telling me a Fernandao (a few years ago) or a group of others from Brazil should have won it? Just a thought.

  4. Romy

    January 1, 2009 at 6:50 am

    They can't select players who are “officially” making their strides in Europe now. That's why Thiago Neves and Guerron aren't on the list, that's also the reason why Riquelme didn't win it in 2007.

  5. Horhay

    December 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Where is Joffre Guerron? He wasn't even in the Top 5. He was the clear cut winner. The player of the Libertadores on a historic team. They screwed up badly with this one.

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