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This award begun in 1971.From 1971 to 1985 it was awarded by Venezuelan newspaper El Mundo. From 1986 onwards it has been awarded by the Uruguayan newspaper El Pais. It is open only to South American players of South American clubs. The results in 2002 are:



1 Jose Cardozo Paraguay 39
2 Sergio Orteman Uruguay 32
3 Alejandro Lembo Uruguay 30
4 Andres D'Alessandro Argentina 29
5 Kaka Brazil 27
6 Gabriel Milito Argentina 25
7 Francisco Arce Paraguay 24
8 Sebastian Saja Argentina 23
9 Marcelo Delgado Argentina 18
10 Robinho Brazil 16

Jose Cardozo of Mexican side Toluca scored fifty goals to help Toluca win the Apertura title. This was the first time that a Mexican-based player had received the award. Previous winners of the award are:

1971 Tostao Brazil
1972 Teofilo Cubillas Peru
1973 Pele Brazil
1974 Elias Figueroa Chile
1975 Elias Figueroa Chile
1976 Elias Figueroa Chile
1977 Zico Brazil
1978 Mario Kempes Argentina
1979 Diego Maradona Argentina
1980 Diego Maradona Argentina
1981 Zico Brazil
1982 Zico Brazil
1983 Socrates Brazil
1984 Enzo Francescoli Uruguay
1985 Julio Cesar Romero Paraguay
1986 Antonio Alzamendi Uruguay
1987 Carlos Valderrama Colombia
1988 Ruben Paz Uruguay
1989 Bebeto Brazil
1990 Raul Amarilla Paraguay
1991 Oscar Ruggeri Argentina
1992 Rai Brazil
1993 Carlos Valderrama Colombia
1994 Cafu Brazil
1995 Enzo Francescoli Uruguay
1996 Jose Luis Chilavert Paraguay
1997 Marcelo Salas Chile
1998 Martin Palermo Argentina
1999 Javier Saviola Argentina
2000 Romario Brazil
2001 Juan Roman Riquelme Argentina


Click here to go to the 1999 South American Player of the Year

Click here to go to the 2000 South American Player of the Year

Click here to go to the 2001 South American Player of the Year

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