Montevideo, Jan 1: Colombia’s Teofilo Gutierrez was voted the best football player of 2014 in the Americas in a poll.
A survey of sports reporters in the region, carried out by Uruguay’s El Pais daily, put the 29–year–old Gutierrez in first place on Wednesday, reports Xinhua.
Gutierrez, who became only the second Colombian to win the award after Carlos Valderrama, garnered 102 votes to win the title of “King of the Americas”, 63 votes more than Uruguay’s Carlos Sanchez. Both play for Argentine club River Plate.
“Gutierrez was one of the most important players for coach Marcelo Gallardo, who led River to win this year’s Copa Sudamerica and put up quite a fight for the title of the Argentine League, said El Pais.
Gutierrez was also “key in Colombia’s tiol team lineup ... first as it qualified for the 2014 Brazil World Cup and later during the cup itself, where he scored a goal,” the daily added.
Colombia’s coach, the Argentine–born Jose Pekerman, was voted the year’s best coach in the Americas, for the third year in a row. IANS