Top 10 Latin American Soccer Players in 2015
Top 10 Latin American Soccer Players in 2015
In 2015 many Latin American soccer players stood out in different fields, especially in Europe. Who was the most outstanding player? That’s not an easy-to-answer question, in a year when Chile won its first America Cup and, at club level, Barcelona conquered six titles with Latin American members playing the leading role. However, PanamericanWorld rises to the challenge and handpicks ten athletes whose talent contributed to the victories achieved by their teams.
With Barcelona, Messi won almost everything: Spanish League, King’s Cup in Spain, Super Cup in Europe, World Cup of clubs and UEFA’s Champions League. His list of personal records went up to a new level and he became the soccer player with the highest number of passes in the Spanish League; he also scored over 400 goals with Barça’s uniform. Furthermore, it was the second time in his career that he was labeled as the Best Player of UEFA, thus surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez. There is only one dark spot: he couldn’t get any important title with Argentina’s national team. This time round, the Argentinean team was defeated by Chile in the final of the America Cup.
The Brazilian athlete lived an America Cup that is worth to be forgotten, including a sanction that stopped him from playing in the event; moreover, his team once again fell in quarterfinals, but when playing with Barça he showed the tremendous talent that has made him become one of the best players on Earth. On June 6, in the final of UEFA Champions League, Neymar scored the third goal, which totally crushed the aspirations of Turin Juventus and gave Barcelona its fifth Europe Cup. In this game, the Brazilian player wrote his name in record books by standing out as the first soccer player in the history to score goals both in the finals of Copa Libertadores and the Champions League.
The spectacular offensive trident of the Barcelona team is completed by Uruguayan Luis Suarez. Those days when his behavior on the field (bites included) was criticized have been left way behind. We’re presently eyeing the purely goal-scoring version of Suarez. His performance was a key element to achieve five titles with his club. There are two unforgettable moments: the goal scored against the Juve, in the final of the Champions League, and his five goals in the World Cup of clubs, which helped him be described as the best player of that tournament.
Javier “Chicharito” Hernández
The Mexican soccer player finished his first and, so far, only season in Spain, with 9 goals and 5 passes in 31 games played as a member of Real Madrid. “Chicharito” wasn’t included in the lists of the white club or Manchester United’s, so he joined Bayer Leverkussen, with a four-year contract. The impact caused by “Chicharito” in the German club was immediately perceived. Goals were scored once again, he presently leads his team and has become one of the players with more media focus in that highly competitive league.
The Chilean athlete collected his fourth title in a row in the A Series, with Turin Juventus, and he became the Chilean first soccer player to be the leader in a final of UEFA Champions League. He was ranked eighth among UEFA best players in 2015 because of his performance. Before the kicking off of the 2015-2016 season, Vidal signed a four-year contract with Munich Bayern, coached by Pep Guardiola. Vidal also stood out with his country’s national team. He scored three goals in the America Cup and, in the final against Argentina, he didn’t miss a penalty shoot. His name was included in the ideal team of that tournament.
The Chilean player was labeled the best goalkeeper of the Spanish League in the 2014-2015 season, when he was the leader in 37 out of the 38 games played by Barcelona and he only took 19 goals. Moreover, Bravo was the soccer player with the highest number of titles collected in the year: six, five with Barça and one with his country’s team, in the America Cup. Bravo was the leader of Roja, which got its first victory in the oldest team tournament of the world. Before his compatriots, the Chilean goalkeeper stopped Ever Banega’s shot, thus contributing to the victory of the local team.
After his shinning performance with several European teams, Turin Juventus was the last one and he scored 50 goals and played in the final of the 2015 Champions League, against Barcelona, the Argentinean player decided to continue his career in his country of origin. He joined Boca Juniors and, in his first season, he gave a boost to the team by scoring nine goals in 15 games. He contributed to the victory in the domestic tournament and the Argentina Cup.
“Kun” had a remarkable year in the Premier League, where he finished as the goal-scoring leader with Manchester City, by delivering 26 goals. In the 2015-2016 season, already wearing the 10 instead of the traditional 16, the Argentinean player entered the record books of the Premier League, by shooting five goals against Newcastle United, and he joined the exclusive group made up of Andy Cole, Alan Shearer, Jermain Defoe and Dimitar Berbatov, as the only players that have made it. The weak point of “Kun” was the same suffered by the other Argentinean players included in this list: they were defeated in the America Cup. In Chile, Agüero scored three times, but he couldn’t do much in the final, since Gonzalo Higuain came on as his substitute.
In England he was awarded as the Best Player of his club, Arsenal. The 2015-2016 season had a great beginning for Sanchez, since he scored three goals against Leicester City on September 26 and became the first player in the history to achieve a hat-trick in the three most famous European competitions (Italian A Series, Spanish League and Premier League). In the America Cup, Sanchez kicked the last penalty against Argentina. With ice-cold blood, Sanchez delivered his “Panenka style” shot and this goal gave Chile the title in the championship.
“Jefecito” doesn’t hit the headlines on a regular basis, because his mission on the field is not about scoring goals, but stopping other people from doing it. The Argentinean player has been a member of Barcelona for five years and half and his position in the best club of the world is undisputable. In the national team, Messi wears the leader bracelet, but Mascherano’s strong personality calls the most important shots. With Barça, this defender won five titles in 2015, although he missed the crown in the America Cup. In Chile, except for the first game against Paraguay, the Argentinean defensive line did it pretty well and they didn’t allow any goal in the final game, but Messi, Agüero and Higuain couldn’t score, so the team finished second again.