Montevideo: 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.
First Published: Sunday, January 01, 2012, 16:57