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El Pais name Ronaldinho the best South American footballer of 2013

Ronaldinho all smiles

Uruguay newspaper El Pais have named Ronaldinho as the best South American based footballer for 2013 following his contribution to Atlético Mineiro’s successful Copa Libertadores campaign.

The award is voted for by journalists and Ronaldinho received 156 votes, whilst Neymar piped Maxi Rodríguez to second as the Barcelona forward earned 81 votes ahead of the Newell’s Old Boys winger who picked up 79.

It is the first time Ronaldinho has won the award and although he was fantastic in the Libertadores, his appearances in the Brasileirão were sporadic as he scored seven times in just 14 showings; this included two in the final match of the season.

The 33-year-old was also named in the El Pais best South American XI for 2013 alongside former team mate Bernard and current team mates Réver and Marcos Rocha.

Neymar was named in the team of the year as well despite moving to Barcelona midway through the season. He had picked up the individual award in 2011 and 2012 when he was with Santos.

If Ronaldinho stays with Galo for 2014 he will attempt to emulate Neymar by winning the award two years in a row but he has been linked with a move away from Brazil.

South American Best XI: Martin Silva, Marcos Rocha, Réver, Paolo Goltz, Maxi Rodríguez, Everton Ribeiro, Ronaldinho, Bernard, Neymar, Scocco, Jô


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