Neymar voted South America’s Footballer of Year

Tuesday, 3 January 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Brazil’s teenage striker Neymar, who won the Copa Libertadores with Santos, has been voted South American soccer’s Footballer of the Year.

Uruguay’s Oscar Washington Tabarez was named coach of the year for the second time in a row after steering his World Cup semi-finalists to a record 15th Copa America crown in July.

Neymar, who inspired Santos to victory over Penarol of Uruguay in the Copa Libertadores final in June, succeeds Argentine midfielder Andres D’Alessandro of Brazil’s Internacional in the annual South American poll conducted by the Uruguayan daily El Pais.

The 19-year-old took 130 votes to 70 for second-placed Chilean striker Eduardo Vargas, whose exploits in helping Universidad de Chile win the Copa Sudamericana and both domestic league titles this year earned him a transfer to Napoli.

Neymar’s Santos team mate Paulo Henrique Ganso was third, while Universidad de Chile’s Argentine trainer Jorge Sampaoli was voted second among the coaches.