MONTEVIDEO: Paraguay’s Jose Cardozo, who scored 50 goals this year for Mexican club Toluca, was voted Latin America’s Footballer of the Year on Tuesday in the annual poll conducted by the Uruguayan newspaper El Pais.
Luiz Felipe Scolari was named coach of the year after steering Brazil to their fifth World Cup victory in Japan and South Korea.
Scolari, who was appointed coach of Portugal earlier this month, finished ahead of former Argentina goalkeeper Nery Pumpido, who won the South American Libertadores Cup after only six months in charge of Paraguayan club Olimpia.
Cardozo hit a record-breaking 36 goals in 25 games as he helped Toluca win the Apertura championship held in the second half of the year in Mexico, adding to the 14 he scored in the Invierno championship held in the first half.
That achievement overshadowed his performance for his country at the World Cup in Japan and South Korea, when he did not hit the target.
It is the first time the award has gone to a player based in Mexico and the third time it has gone to a Paraguayan following Raul Vicente Amarilla in 1990 and goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert in 1996. – Reuters