The 10 Best Bolivian Players in History

Best Bolivian Players in History: Bolivia and Venezuela are countries that don’t have as strong a football culture as some other countries in their region. Because of this, their national teams often struggle in the qualifying matches and suffer tough losses against their neighboring countries.

However, there have been some exceptional Bolivian players who have made a mark on the international stage. These players have worn the Bolivian national team jersey and have become legends in their own right. In this ranking, we will highlight the top 10 best soccer players in the history of Bolivia.

The Best Bolivian Soccer Players in history

In our opinion, these are the top 10 players in the history of the Bolivian national team. However, we acknowledge that we are not experts in Bolivian soccer, and our opinion is not definitive. We welcome a respectful discussion in the comments section, where you can share your thoughts on who you believe are the best players in the history of Bolivia.

10. Marco Sandy

  • Full Name: Marco Antonio Sandy Sansusty
  • Date of Birth: 29 August 1971 (age 51)
  • Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
  • Position(s): Defender

Leading our ranking of the best Bolivian players in history is Marco Antonio Sandy, famously known as “El Toro.” This legendary central defender of the Bolivian national team is widely regarded as one of the greatest players not only in Bolivia but also globally.

During his career, Sandy played in various leagues, including Paraguay, Spain (with Real Valladolid), and Argentina. However, he primarily made his mark in the Bolivian first division. He represented the Bolivian national team in the 1994 World Cup and accumulated a total of 93 appearances, making him the third player with the most caps for the national team. Sandy’s exceptional skills and contributions as a central defender have earned him a prominent place in Bolivian soccer history.

Career Stats With Bolivia:

YearAppGoals
1993–2003936

9. Luis Cristaldo

  • Full Name: Luis Héctor Cristaldo Ruiz Díaz
  • Date of Birth: August 31, 1969 (age 53)
  • Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Position(s): Defender

In the ninth position of our ranking, we have Luis Héctor Cristaldo Ruiz Díaz. He is one of the few players in the history of the Bolivian national team who was not born in Bolivia, as he was born in Formosa, Argentina. However, after acquiring Bolivian citizenship, Cristaldo became a legendary figure in Bolivian soccer. He played a total of 93 games for the national team, making him the second player with the most appearances in the history of the Bolivian team.

Throughout his career, Cristaldo played in various leagues around the world. He had notable stints in Paraguay, Argentina, and even Spain, where he played for Sporting de Gijón. While he played primarily in Bolivia, Cristaldo made his debut in 1998 and retired in 2012 as a respected central defender.

Career Stats With Bolivia:

YearAppGoals
1989–2005935

8. Ronald Raldes

  • Full Name: Ronald Raldes Balcázar
  • Date of Birth: April 20, 1981 (age 42)
  • Height: 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
  • Position(s): Centre-back

The eighth position in our ranking belongs to Ronald Raldes. Raldes, who currently holds the position of president at Oriente Petrolero, a top-tier Bolivian team, had a remarkable career as a central defender from 2000 to 2019.

Raldes was a consistent presence in the Bolivian national team, making his debut in 2001 and playing for a remarkable 17 years without interruption. With 102 appearances, he holds the record for the most caps in the history of the Bolivian team. Although Raldes primarily played in Bolivia, he also had notable periods at Colón in Argentina and Rosario Central, where he showcased his skills.

Career Stats With Bolivia:

YearAppGoals
2001–20181023

7. Jaime Moreno

  • Full Name: Jaime Moreno Morales
  • Date of Birth: 19 January 1974 (age 49)
  • Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
  • Position(s): Forward

The seventh spot in the ranking is occupied by Jaime Moreno. While we have primarily discussed central players from Bolivia so far, Moreno stands out as a lethal striker who made a significant impact in Major League Soccer (MLS) rather than with the national team.

Moreno is the third-highest goal scorer in MLS history, having scored 133 goals for DC United and the MetroStars. His scoring prowess showcased Bolivia’s talent on the international stage. Furthermore, Moreno’s skills as a playmaker were also noteworthy, as he provided a total of 102 assists, ranking him as the second-highest assist provider in MLS history.

Career Stats With Bolivia:

YearAppGoals
1991–2008759

6. Joaquin Botero

  • Full Name: Joaquín Botero Vaca
  • Date of Birth: 10 December 1977 (age 45)
  • Height: 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

Absolutely, Joaquín Botero deserves a place in this ranking. This Bolivian striker, born in La Paz, held the title of top scorer in the history of the national team for many years until Marcelo Martins surpassed his record. Nonetheless, Botero remains an unquestionable legend of Bolivian soccer due to his exceptional performances and the pride he brought to the country every time he stepped on the field.

Botero began his career in Bolivia, notably playing for Bolívar for several seasons. His impressive performances earned him a move to Pumas in Mexico, where he scored 23 goals from 2003 to 2006. With the national team, he scored a total of 20 goals, currently placing him second on the all-time goal scorers list for Bolivia.

Career Stats With Bolivia:

YearAppGoals
1999–20094820

5. Máximo Alcocer (1933-2014)

  • Full Name: Maximo Luis Alcocer
  • Birth: April 15, 1933
  • Nationality: Bolivian

Coming in at number five in our ranking is Máximo Alcocer, whose full name is Máximo Luis Alcócer Velásquez. He was born in 1933 and passed away in 2014. Alcocer made a significant impact on Bolivian soccer as a striker and is remembered for being part of the generation that won the Copa América (known as the South American Championship at that time) in 1963.

In terms of historical significance, Alcocer ranks as the seventh-highest goal scorer for the Bolivian national team. He scored a total of 13 goals in 22 games, boasting an impressive scoring average of 0.59 goals per game, which is the highest among all-time goal scorers for Bolivia.

Career Stats With Bolivia:

AppGoals
22 13

4. Marcelo Martins Moreno

  • Full Name: Marcelo Martins Moreno
  • Date of Birth: 18 June 1987 (age 35)
  • Height: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

Now, let’s discuss the only active player on this list: Marcelo Martins. At 34 years old, Martins is a forward who may not be considered one of the most skilled or successful players in Bolivia’s history. However, his influence on the current generation of soccer players in his country cannot be overlooked.

Currently playing for Cruzeiro in Brazil’s Serie B, Martins holds the record as the all-time leading scorer for the Bolivian national team. He has scored 28 goals in 90 games for his country. Additionally, he ranks fourth in terms of the most appearances for the national team, having played in a total of 90 matches.

Career Stats With Bolivia:

YearAppGoals
2007–10031

3. Marco Etcheverry

  • Full Name: Marco Antonio Etcheverry Vargas
  • Date of Birth: 26 September 1970 (age 52)
  • Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Position(s): Forward

According to many people, Marco “Diablo” Antonio Etcheverry is considered one of the greatest players in the history of Bolivia, and some even believe he is the absolute best. Etcheverry himself has claimed this title on multiple occasions. However, in our opinion, we rank him as the third-best player in Bolivia’s history.

Etcheverry had an impressive career in Major League Soccer (MLS) and achieved international success by winning two titles with DC United. He scored a total of 13 goals in 71 games for his national team, making him the seventh-highest goal scorer in Bolivia’s history.

Career Stats With Bolivia:

YearAppGoals
1989–20037113

2. Erwin Romero

  • Full Name: Erwin Romero Escudero
  • Date of Birth: July 27, 1957 (age 65)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

There is a potential point of contention here. Erwin “Chichi” Romero is widely regarded by many historians as the greatest player in the history of Bolivia. His exceptional talent has been recognized by FIFA, CONMEBOL, and various soccer entities for many years, solidifying his status as the best player in this small country.

Romero primarily played for clubs in Bolivia, although he did have a short period of time in Argentina and Colombia. He not only left an indelible mark on Bolivian soccer but also made a name for himself in the global football scene.

Representing the national team, Romero wore the Bolivian jersey in 48 matches. Unfortunately, there is a lack of reliable records regarding the exact number of goals he scored during his international career.

Career Stats With Bolivia:

YearAppGoals
1977–1989484

1. Víctor Ugarte (1926-1995)

  • Full Name: Víctor Agustín Ugarte Oviedo
  • Date of Birth: 5 May 1926
  • Position(s): Striker

The number one spot in our ranking goes to Víctor Agustín “El Maestro” Ugarte, a highly regarded Bolivian soccer player. Many consider him to be the greatest Bolivian player of all time, and his impressive achievements and records support this claim.

Ugarte was honored with the title of “Maestro,” a recognition given to only a few players in Bolivian history, thanks to his outstanding career on the soccer field. His name shines brightly at the pinnacle of Bolivian soccer.

During his career, Ugarte played for notable clubs such as Bolívar and Mariscal Santa Cruz in Bolivia. He also had brief stints at San Lorenzo in Argentina and Once Caldas in Colombia.

With the national team, Ugarte scored 16 goals in 45 games between 1947 and 1963. His most significant accomplishment was winning the Copa América (South American Championship) in 1963, which stands as the crowning achievement in his remarkable career.

Career Stats With Bolivia:

YearAppGoals
1947–19634516

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