The winner of the award will be announced on 23rd September in Milan.
Named after Hungarian and Real Madrid legend, Ferenc Puskas, the Puskas award is given to the scorer of the most aesthetically pleasing goal of a football season. The award has been held by some of the true greats of the game, from Cristiano Ronaldo to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. And now, the FIFA has released a list of the ten nominees for the 2019 award.
We at Khel Now take you through these spectacular goals and how they were made.
???? #PUSKAS AWARD ????
The ten candidates have been revealed ????
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— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) August 19, 2019
Matheus Cunha (BRA) vs Bayer Leverkusen
The Brazilian winger plays in Leipzig that can boast an expansive, skilful and quick style of play. All these traits are on show in this goal. Cunha picks up the ball from 20 yards out of goal, uses a reverse roulette to dummy two defenders before dinking it over a hapless Leverkusen keeper. The goal is as technically difficult to execute as it is easy on the eye.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWE) vs Toronto FC
Zlatan just does not stop, does he? The 37-year-old has taken the MLS by storm since his arrival and the 500th goal of his career shows off just what he is about. The towering Swede locks eyes on a hopeful ball that is lobbed up to him from outside the box. A swift blinding movement later, the ball is in the back of the net. He roundhouses kick the ball with his backheel past a goalkeeper who barely knows what is happening. A classic Ibra goal.
Lionel Messi (ARG) vs Real Betis
The little magician never fails to impress. In truth, this was just one of Messi’s goals from last season that could have made this shortlist. The Argentine fights off two defenders from 25 yards out and lays the ball off to Ivan Rakitic who plays it back to Messi. Now the magic happens. Think Frank Lampard in his prime. Messi sends his boot through the ball from the corner of the box, sending it looping through the air with accuracy that would make a sniper green. The ball comes off the crossbar and into the goal. Quite spectacular.
Ajara Nchout (CMR) vs New Zealand
The first goal by a female player on this shortlist is quite a treat. Ajara Nchout put on quite a show for those watching the Women’s World cup. The Cameroonian picked up the ball on the left-wing and cut inside her defender. When it looked to all the world like she was going to curl one into the top corner, she dummied her defender who ended up on the floor before sliding the ball by the goalkeeper to send her side into raptures.
Watch: FIFA Puskas award Nominees
Fabio Quagliarella (ITA) vs Napoli
A flying backheel into the bottom corner, anyone? Fabio Quagliarella has got you covered. The striker starts the move with his back turned to goal and that’s precisely how he finishes it. A ball is floated into him hopefully. The Italian leaps into the air, catches the ball with his heel and with the deftest of touches guides it into the corner of the net and walks off nonchalantly with barely a look back.
Juan Fernando Quintero (COL) vs Racing Club
You can often judge a quality of a goal by the reaction of the crowd and the crowds that turn out to River Plate’s home games are well known to be some of the most vocal in the game. When Quintero struck his freekick from an almost impossible distance and angle, there was a tangible increase in the excitement of the crowd as their voices reached a crescendo as the ball rattled the back of the net. A very worthy contender for the prize.
Amy Rodriguez (USA) vs Sky Blue FC
The American picks up the ball in her own half, dribbles past one, past two, past three, and finally finds a pocket of space 25 yards from goal. From here, it is all about pure goalscoring technique. Swift, precise and strong, Rodriguez curls the ball into the top corner making her the second female nominee for the Puskas award.
Billie Simpson (NIR) vs Cliftonville Ladies FC
A goal out of nothing. A decent clearance from the keeper falls to Simpson deep in her own half who volleys it hopefully back at the opposition goal. The shot catches the keeper out and flies into the open net. The technique on show to volley it with such accuracy is highly impressive.
⌛️Voting is open until 1 September
ℹ️ Public vote decides top three, then FIFA Legends will decide the #Puskas Award winner
All the info you need ????https://t.co/ZaEeH7HvsU
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) August 19, 2019
Andros Townsend (ENG) vs Manchester City
Wow. That’s all that can be said of this goal, really. Reminiscent of Paul Scholes in his prime, the veteran winger rolled back the years to latch onto a failed City clearance. His knee over the ball, the Englishman, Townsend put his laces through it and watched it as it whipped just out of the reach of Ederson in goal into the top corner. Postage stamp stuff.
Daniel Zsori (ROU) vs Ferencváros TC
93rd-minute bicycle kick winner and a Puskas nominee, Daniel Zsori is living the dream. The Romanian forward latched onto a cross in the most spectacular of fashions, sending the ball arrowing past the keeper into the corner of the net. He’ll be watching that over a few times.