River Plate's Carlos Sanchez named South America Player of Year

Uruguay international and River Plate midfielder Carlos Sanchez was named South America's Player of the Year by the area football writers in the annual poll done by Uruguay newspaper El Pais.

The 31-year-old is the first Uruguayan to win the prestigious award in 20 years and was singled out for a year in which he helped the Argentine side win Copa Libertadores, Recopa Sudamericana and the Suruga Bank Championship. He beat out Boca Juniors rival Carlos Tevez in the voting (182 to 121 votes) for Tevez's first half-season back in Argentina.

The last time a Uruguay international won the South America voting was Enzo Francescoli in 1995. Tevez won the award from 2003-2005.

Sanchez, who will play for Liga MX side Monterrey under Antonio Mohamed in the 2016 season, finished with 10 goals for the season. He scored goals in four of River's seven finals. He tweeted the cover of El Pais' print edition on his Twitter feed on Thursday and thanked the reporters for their votes.

River Plate's centre-forward Teo Gutierrez, of Colombia, won the award last year. Ecuador's Miller Bolanos, of Emelec, was third in the voting, followed by River's Matias Kranevitter and Marcelo Barovero. France international Andre-Pierre Gignac, of Liga MX side Tigres UANL, was sixth followed by Chile international Charles Aranguiz, of Brazil's Inter.