D’Alessandro is the King of the Americas

Andrés D'Alessandro celebrates Internacional's Libertadores win back in July

Andrés D’Alessandro has been named by Uruguayan newspaper El País as the 2010 South American Footballer Of The Year, an award informally known as the ‘King Of The Americas’. The Internacional de Porto Alegre playmaker succeeds countryman Juan Sebastián Verón, who won it in both 2008 and 2009, after a fairly ordinary year in the Brazilian championship which was punctuated with a starring role in Inter’s Copa Libertadores triumph. In total, there were five Argentines in the top eleven of the vote, as well as Vélez Sarsfield’s Uruguayan hitman Santiago Silva.

D’Alessandro’s season in the Brazilian championship was an unspectacular one, with Inter ending the season in seventh place. His central role in their Copa Libertadores triumph, though, was enough to secure him 61 votes in the poll – which El País conduct through balloting sports journalists across the continent – and see off the incumbent Verón by ten votes. In the current summer transfer rumour mill, D’Alessandro has been repeatedly linked to transfers back to his former Argentine clubs River Plate and San Lorenzo, and Inter recently announced they would be prepared to listen to offers for him, but it’s unlikely the Argentine sides will be able to find the money to fund such a move.

Further down the list there was plenty of representation for Argentina. Uruguayan Vélez star Silva came in fifth, and three Argentines also made the shortlist: Darío Conca, the Fluminense star who was released by River Plate and was recently named Brazil’s Player Of The Year after taking his side to the title, was fourth; Independiente goalkeeper Hilario Navarro, man-of-the-matches in their Copa Sudamericana final win, seventh, and Verón’s Estudiantes team-mate Leandro Desábato finished joint ninth. D’Alessandro becomes the seventh Argentine to win the award since El País started handing it out in 1986 (it was previously run by Venezuelan newspaper El Mundo before that), although thanks to Carlos Tevez and Seba Verón’s multiple wins it’s actually the tenth time it’s gone to one.

In the managerial award, Uruguay boss Oscar Tábarez finished first, with two Argentines completing the podium: Marcelo Bielsa, the outgoing Chile manager, in second and Alejandro Sabella of Estudiantes third.

This video isn’t entirely from 2010, but I thought I’d put it up anyway.

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Photo taken from elpais.com.uy

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