However, in some cases, the Bolivian team has managed to stand out worldwide thanks to the great stars who have infused La Verde’s shirt on some occasions, with many of them becoming legends that today we will highlight in our ranking of the 10 best footballers in the history of Bolivia.
The Best Bolivian footballers in history
According to our judgment, these are the 10 best players in the history of the Bolivian national team. Of course, as we are not experts in soccer in this country, our opinion is not carved in stone, so we are open to having a respectful debate about it in the comments section about what, for you, are the best players in the history of La Verde.
10. Marco Antonio Sandy
Marco Antonio Sandy, known as “El Toro” is the player who opens our ranking of the best Bolivian players in history. This legendary central defender of La Verde is considered one of the best players in the history of this country, not only within Bolivian territory but also worldwide.
In his career, Marco Antonio Sandy played in Paraguay, Spain (Real Valladolid), and Argentina, standing out mainly for his time in the Bolivian first division. With the national team, Sandy played in the 1994 World Cup and played a total of 93 games for his national team, making him the third player with the most appearances for his national team.
9. Luis Héctor Cristaldo
The ninth place goes to Luis Héctor Cristaldo Ruiz Díaz, one of the few players in the history of the Bolivian national team who was not born in the national territory, but Luis Héctor was born in Formosa, Argentina. Upon being a Bolivian national, Cristaldo became a Bolivian soccer legend, reaching 93 to be the second player with the most matches in La Verde’s history.
In his career, Luis Héctor Cristaldo played games in various leagues around the world, standing out for his time in Paraguay, Argentina, and even Spain, where he played for Sporting de Gijón. This central defender made his career mainly in Bolivia and, after making his debut in 1998, he retired in 2012.
8. Ronald Raldes
Ronald Raldes is the player who opens the eighth place in our ranking. Raldes, who currently serves as president of Oriente Petrolero, a Bolivian first division team, had an excellent career as a central defender from 2000 to 2019.
With La Verde, Raldes was a fixture, debuting in 2001 and playing for 17 years without interruption with his national team. For this reason, thanks to his 102 games, he became the player with the most games in the history of his team. Héctor almost made his career in Bolivia, but he also had an outstanding step in Colón (Argentina) and in Rosario Central.
7. Jaime Moreno
The seventh place in the ranking goes to Jaime Moreno. We finally left Bolivia’s central centrals to talk about a lethal striker who unfortunately could never write his name aloud in the history of La Verde, but he did put Bolivia’s name aloft in MLS.
Jaime Moreno is the third all-time top scorer in the competition, thanks to his 133 goals scored with DC United and with MetroStars. In addition, as a playmaker, Jaime also stood out, adding a total of 102 assists that place him as the second-highest all-time assistant in MLS.
6. Joaquín Botero
Yes, or yes, we should talk about Joaquín Botero in this ranking. This Bolivian striker born in La Paz was for many years the highest historical scorer of his team until the arrival of Marcelo Martins. However, Botero is an indisputable legend of Bolivian soccer thanks to the excellent representation of the country that he always left in each team he played.
Botero made a career in Bolivia, standing out in Bolívar for several seasons. That earned him a pass to the Pumas de México, a club in which he scored 23 goals between 2003 and 2006. This forward added a total of 20 goals with La Verde, currently the second that has scored the most goals in the history of his team. national.
5. Máximo Alcocer († 1933-2014)
Máximo Alcocer is the player who opens the TOP 5 of the best players in the history of Bolivia. Full name Máximo Luis Alcócer Velásquez, born in 1933 and died in 2014, this forward wrote his name in the history of the country by being part of that generation that won the Copa América (at that time the South American Championship) in 1963.
On a historical level, Alcocer is the seventh historical scorer of his team, scoring a total of 13 goals in 22 games, having the highest scoring average in the historical scorer’s table with 0.59 goals per game.
4. Marcelo Martins
Now is the time to talk about the only player on this list who is still active: Marcelo Martins. The 34-year-old forward is not one of the most talented or winners in Bolivian history, but his impact on his country’s current generation of footballers is undeniable.
Martins, who currently plays for Brazil’s Serie B Cruzeiro, is the top scorer for his team in history thanks to his 28 goals in 90 games. Likewise, due to this number of games played, Marcelo is the fourth player with the most appearances in the history of La Verde.
3. Marco “Diablo” Antonio Etcheverry
For many, there is no discussion, Marco “Diablo” Antonio Etcheverry is one of the best players in the history of Bolivia and for many, he is the best of all. The same player has claimed this medal on more than one occasion, but, according to our judgment, Etcheverry is the third-best player in the history of Bolivia.
With a masterful career in MLS, El Diablo managed to win up to two international titles with DC United. With his national team, he scored 13 goals in 71 games, making him the seventh-highest scorer in the history of Bolivia.
2. Erwin “El Chichi” Romero
The moment of possible controversy has arrived, Erwin “Chichi” Romero is, for many historians, the best player in the history of Bolivia. FIFA, CONMEBOL, and various soccer entities have recognized this for many years, and are considered the best talent in the history of soccer in this small country.
On more than one occasion, he was recognized not only as one of the best players in the history of the region, but he has also been in charge of writing his name in world football. Romero made his career primarily in Bolivia, having a brief stint in Argentina and Colombia. With the national team, Romero wore the Green shirt 49 times, but unfortunately, there are no reliable records of the number of goals scored.
1. Víctor Agustín “El Maestro” Ugarte († 1926-1995)
Víctor Agustín “El Maestro” Ugarte , is the player who takes the gold medal in our ranking. This striker, considered by many to be the best Bolivian soccer player of all time, is a legend of national football, and his numbers and record show it.
Víctor Ugarte was one of the few footballers in the history of his country to receive the honorary title of Master, thanks to his masterful career as a footballer, which allowed him to write his name in gold ink at the top of national football.
Ugarte made a career in Bolivia, standing out in clubs like Bolívar and Mariscal Santa Cruz, in addition to having a brief stint in San Lorenzo (Argentina) and Once Caldas ( Colombia ).
With his selection, Ugarte managed to score 16 goals in 45 games between 1947 and 1963. In addition, and as the main decoration of his record, he managed to be champion of the Copa América (South American Championship) in 1963.