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Who is the best player in South American Football?

2 November 2009 by rosstheger

The World Cup trophy has returned to South America on 9 occassions; Brazil with 5, Argentina with 2 and Uruguay with an early 2 in the history of the biggest football competition on the planet. In 2014, the World Cup competition will be hosted by the Brazilians and is sure to be a festival of colour and passion. South American football is troubled with a lack of investment, clubs depend on their Youth Academy to produce the Kaka’s, Ronaldo’s & Robinho’s of tomorrow.

I’m a huge follower of the Argentinian Primera Division and I’m baffled that this league is not broadcasted in the UK. There are many footballers I could consider for the best player in South America but I’ve narrowed the selection down to the final 5 players who in my opinion are the top stars. I have deliberatley ignored Riquelme, because I don’t feel he has performed anywhere near good enough over the last year, I’ve also ignored Adriano and Vagner Love because they have not really been in the Brazilian Campeonato for very long.

Number 1: Sandro (Internacional, Brazil)

Linked heavily with Spurs, Sandro is a 20 year old holding midfielder, very similar to Wilson Palacios in terms of his build and his strengths. The Young Brazilian has represented his national team at Under-20 level but recentley made his first cap for the full national side. It seems Sandro is almost certainly heading for White Hart Lane, a £14m bid was reportedly rejected but Redknapp is a keen admirer of Sandro and a bid is expected in January.

Number 2: Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield, Argentina)

21 year-old Otamendi has made 5 international appearances under Diego Maradona and is one of the most promising defenders in world football. This summer, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Juventus all had bids turned down from Velez Sarsfield, the current Argentinian Champions. At 5ft 10, Otamendi times his tackles to absolute perfection and is now a regular in the Velez side.

Number 3: Diego Buonanotte (River Plate, Argentina)

One of my favourite players in Argentina, a small, speedy winger for River Plate, Buonanotte is one of the shining lights in the Argentinian league. At 21, he has already made 75 appearances for River Plate. The Young winger has been around for a while, its baffling why he hasn’t been approached by a European club but I suspect someone will be sniffing around him as he has been on top form this season for River Plate, despite their stuttering form.

Number 4: Diego (Palmeiras, Brazil)

The Palmeiras No.7 has made over 100 appearances for the Brazilian side and at 24 years of age has represented the national team once. Diego is an attacking midfielder who normally occupies in behind the main striker and has scored 30 goals for Palmeiras. In his career, he has also had spells with Benfica and Flamengo.

Number 5: Eduardo Salvio (Lanus, Argentina)

Salvio is the youngest of the 5 players I’ve looked at in more detail but, with a low centre of gravity and great skill and pace, the 19 year old Lanus striker is starting to be a star in the Argentinian league. He has 15 goals to his credit so far for Lanus and has represented the Argentinian national side once and the U-20’s on 9 occasions. He made his top-team debut against Boca Juniors in 2008.

Its difficult to find faults in any South American players, they are all technically superb and have a really good level of fitness but my vote goes to Sandro of Internacional.

I have seen him play for Internacional a number of times and he has impressed me on every occasion; with a real power in midfield and a composure in passing he has the ability to be a top midfielder in world football. From what I’ve seen, he’d be a great addition to the Spurs side.

One Comment »

  • Challenge Feedback said:

    A good, informative piece on an area I admittedly knew little about.

    * Very informative
    * Well structured

    * The odd gramatical mistake.

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