Monday, January 02, 2012

Tim Vickery in South America

In the last competitive game of the South American season, Eduardo Vargas scored a goal that made sure Universidad de Chile won the domestic title, and also highlighted why Napoli are taking him across the Atlantic. Vargas broke from the halfway line. Cobreloa defender Sebastian Roco, worried about his pace, kept backing off. Vargas' control of the ball at pace was so good that he was able to do two things. First, make a little change of angle to give himself more room. Second, look up and appreciate the situation unfolding around him. He had seen that keeper Nicolas Peric was a few metres off his line. Without breaking stride, Vargas unleashed a beautifully precise chip, over Peric but under the bar. It is this type of talent that has made the 22-year-old the outstanding figure of the last few months of South American football; but not the player of the year. It was a two horse race, but Neymar of Brazil and Santos pulled away to win the annual prize organised by the Uruguayan newspaper, El Pais.

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