Goal.com Special: South American Champions of 2009

Goal.com’s Tim Sturtridge takes you on a whistle stop tour of South America’s big winners of the latter half of 2009...
Argentina
2009 Apertura Champion – Banfield
Top Scorer – Santiago Silva (Banfield) 14 goals
Best Player - Joaquín Boghossian (Newell’s Old Boys)
After developing his game in his native Uruguay Joaquín Boghossian burst on to the scene in Argentina during the Apertura. The striker finished the season with 11 goals and at 22-years-old he is one of the hottest properties currently playing in Argentina. Boghossian has height, two good feet and a turn of pace which makes him a danger against any defence.

Bolivia
2009 Clausura Champion – Blooming
Top Scorer - William Ferreira (Bolívar) 13 goals
Best Player - Carlos Erwin Arias (Bolívar)
After playing for a number of top clubs in Bolivia this goalkeeper is already well decorated at 27-years-old. This season saw Carlos Erwin Arias in great form once again between the sticks for Bolívar as well as being kept very busy in his outings for the Bolivian national team.

Brazil
2009 Série A Champion – Flamengo
Top Scorer – Adriano (Flamengo) and Diego Tardelli (Atlético MG) 19 goals
Best Player - Dejan Petković (Flamengo)
After over 10 years in the Brazilian top flight Dejan Petković remains one of the division’s most skilful players. One of the few European imports in Brazil, at 37-years-old the Serbian’s Serie A winner’s medal proves that the midfielder still has the game to hold his own at this level. Petković’s poise on the ball is often bemoaned in Brazil as he has a habit of making the natives on the pitch look dull and ordinary.

Chile
2009 Clausura Champion – Colo-Colo
Top Scorer - Diego Gabriel Rivarola (Santiago Morning) 13 goals
Best Player - Esteban Paredes (Colo-Colo)
The deep lying attacker maintained his fine form from earlier in the year to net a further nine goals in the Clausura to help his team get their hands on yet another title. At 29-years-old Esteban Paredes is one of the most consistent performers in Chile and a real thorn in the side of defences.

Colombia
2009 Copa Mustang II Champion - Independiente Medellín
Top Scorer - Jackson Martínez (Independiente Medellín) 18 goals
Best Player - Johan Javier Fano (Once Caldas)
The Peruvian has been a smash hit in Colombia since joining Once Caldas and his impressive record of over a goal every other game has alerted interest from far and wide. At the conclusion of the Copa Mustang II the 31-year-old was transferred to Atlante of Mexico.

Ecuador
2009 Serie A Champion - Deportivo Quito
Top Scorer - Iván Borghello (Deportivo Quito) 11 goals
Best Player - Édison Méndez (LDU Quito)
The attacking midfielder was in blistering form again this season, his hat-trick against Fluminense in the final of the Copa Sudamericana demonstrated how much he loves the big occasion. The 30-year-old is well on his way to 100 caps for his country and his quality on the pitch shows no sign of letting up.

Paraguay
2009 Clausura Champion – Nacional
Top Scorer - Cesar Cáceres Cañete (Guaraní) 11 goals
Best Player - Víctor Cáceres (Libertad)
After breaking into the first team at Libertad classy midfielder Víctor Cáceres has been going from strength to strength. He has continued to shine for club and country this year and will be out to impress in 2010 during the Copa Libertadores and the World Cup.

Peru
2009 Descentralizado Champion – Universitario de Deportes
Top Scorer - Richard Maria Estigarribia (Total Chalaco) 23 goals
Best Player - Rainer Torres (Universitario de Deportes)
Pint-sized midfielder Rainer Torres got his hands on his second league winner’s medal of his career this year. The 29-year-old may not be the most prolific member of the team but his breaking up of opposition attacks is second to none in Peru.

Uruguay
2009 Torneo Apertura Champion – Nacional
Top Scorer - Emiliano Alfaro (Liverpool) 15 goals
Best Player - Álvaro González (Nacional)
It has been a pretty good year for wideman Álvaro González as he played his part in his team’s title win and his country booking their place at the World Cup in South Africa. The 25-year-old returned to Argentina after a hit and miss spell with Boca Juniors but was quick to put his disappointment behind him as he knuckled down and continued to improve.

Venezuela
2009 Torneo Apertura Champion - Deportivo Táchira
Top Scorer - Heatklif Castillo (Monagas SC) 12 goals
Best Player - Gerzon Chacón (Deportivo Táchira)
The defender is in his fourth spell with the club he started his professional career at after breaking through from the youth teams. As well as winning the league the 29-year-old was also part of the Venezuelan team which picked up a 0-0 draw in Campo Grande against Brazil.

Tim Sturtridge, Goal.com