South American footballer of 2008: Juan Sebastian Veron

Former Lazio, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Manchester United Argentine midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron has been officially selected as the best footballer in South America of 2008 by the Uruguayan newspaper El Pais.

The 33-year-old playmaker joined Argentinean side Estudiantes La Plata from Internazionale back in 2006, and with a wealth of experience behind him Veron took a leading role at the club, assuming the role as club captain.

Estudiantes finished third in the Clausura earlier this year, and came in seventh in the Apertura which finished last month. The highlight of the year for Estudiantes however came in the Copa Sudamericana, where they reached the final before eventually losing to Brazilian outfit Internacional.

Capping the award, Veron also claimed the goal of the season award for his strike against Gimnasia de Jujuy. The goal can be seen here.

Veron just managed to beat Juan Roman Riquelme to the award, collecting just three more votes than Boca’s star playmaker.

In third place came Paraguayan striker Salvador Cabanas of Club America of Mexico, Internacional’s Andres D’Alessandro finished in fourth place, while fifth place went to LDU’s goalie Jose Francisco Cevallos, who was central to his team’s first ever Copa Libertadores success.