By Tony Alvarez
FIFA have announced their 10 nominations for the Puskas award, which you would recognise as the goal of the year award, the shortlist includes goals from international fixtures, youth team fixtures and woman’s football.
I will run through my thoughts on all of the contenders and give my view on who should take the award.
For those of you who have not seen the nominated goals, you can do so on the following link http://www.fifa.com/ballondor/puskasaward/index.html
Benjamin de Ceulaer, LOKEREN vs Club Brugge
A stunning piece of skill and control topped off with a nice finish, this truly is one of those goals had it been scored by Cristiano Ronaldo or Xavi we would be seeing it endlessly, however I don’t think it has enough to win the award.
Giovani dos Santos, MEXICO vs United States
FIFA love to pushing their own competitions (you will hear me say this throughout the article) which for me is the reason this goal is in the shortlist, had this goal come in a League Two match it would not find itself on the shortlist, it was however a delightful chipped finish from the Tottenham youngster whilst on international duty for Mexico in the Gold Cup.
Julio Gomez, MEXICO U17 vs Germany U17
Again another goal that was in a FIFA competition the under 17 World Cup. If this is one of the top 10 goals this year I have been watching a different sport. Not taking anything away from Gomez it was a nice finish but the top 10 goals this year……. Not a chance.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, AC MILAN vs Lecce
This is a real contender I believe from the huge talent that is Zlaten Ibrahimovic, he can so often flatter to deceive but he is so often capable of the sublime. This goal combines pace, strength, skill and huge technical ability its not common that you can describe a goal that was scored from 30 yards out as having all those aspects.
Lisandro ‘Licha’ Lopez, ARSENAL SARANDI vs Olimpo
This for me was the best goal that was nominated, not many of you will of heard of Lisandro Lopez of Argentinean side Arsenal but he is a defender that showed the technical ability of a accomplished striker.
Following a whipped in corner, running away from goal Lisandro executed the perfect overhead/ bicycle kick, this is difficult at the best of times but running away from goal makes it virtually impossible. Top Strike.
Lionel Messi, BARCELONA vs Arsenal
This is not me having an Arsenal bias as I am a huge Lionel Messi fan but had any other player on earth scored this goal it would not be any where near this shortlist, forget top 10 goals of the year this goal probably would not be the top 10 of any given week.
Neymar, SANTOS vs Flamengo
This is one of those goals I have watched over and over and im still not quite sure how he done it. The individual brilliance on display is supreme and shows off so many qualities, this is a real contender and will only help enhance Neymars reputation.
Heather O’Reilly, US Women vs Colombia Women
Yet again this is a case of promoting their own competitions and attempting to show equality in Football.
It was a stunning long range effort that found the top corner and dipped and swerved before hitting the back of the net.
I don’t think this is in the top 10 goals I’ve seen this year but it is also unfair to argue with its inclusion it is a fine strike.
Wayne Rooney, MAN UTD vs Man City
The probable winner of the award. It is certainly seen that way in England anyway not only is the quality of the goal recognised but also the circumstances it came in 1-1 with your local rivals who have newly become a threat and Rooney pulls out this act of brilliance.
I personally think Lopez scored the better goal but as there was no real significance that came with the goal I think Rooney will take the award.
Dejan Stankovic, INTER MILAN vs Schalke 04
The sheer technique and audacity shown in this strike by Stankovic mean that it deserves its place on this list.
Although he effectively scored an open goal having the ability and confidence to strike the ball from such distance on the volley set it apart from many other strikes.
This strike will not win the award but it is worthy of its place on the list.
What are your thoughts? Which of these will win the award? Have you seen any goals that trump all of the above efforts? Can you provide videos of any other lower league goals as FIFA tend to ignore lower leagues?
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