On Friday night, Dundalk midfielder Jordan Flores scored one of the finest goals the League of Ireland has ever seen in the Lilywhites’ defeat to Shamrock Rovers.
Flores met Michael Duffy’s picture-perfect corner kick with a ridiculous volley as he whipped the ball into the top corner and past the helpless Alan Mannus in the Shamrock Rovers net.
Dundalk lost the game 3-2 due to an excellent 83rd-minute goal from Jack Byrne.
But Flores strike almost immediately went viral with RTÉ Soccer’s original clip garnering three million views on Twitter.
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) February 28, 2020
FIFA’s official Twitter account shared the volley and claimed it to be “potential candidate” for the prestigious Puskas Award – given to the year’s best goal.
The likes of Mundial Magazine, Goal and Spanish publication AS all also shared the clip, with the latter crowning it the Puskas Award winner for 2020 already.
What a game of football. One of the best matches you'll see anywhere this weekend ??
— Pundit Arena (@PunditArena) February 28, 2020
Sky Sports News called it a “wonder-volley” and featured it on their bulletins on Saturday morning, saying that: “It’s the kind of volley Zinedine Zidane would have been proud of.”
? A potential candidate for the #Puskas Award?
? Take a bow, Jordan Flores
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) February 28, 2020
Flores joined Dundalk last season from Championship side Wigan Athletic, following loan spells with Blackpool, Chesterfield and Ostersunds in Sweden.
The 24-year-old’s former club Wigan also took the time to share the clip of the goal from their Twitter account, praising their academy graduate.
— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) February 28, 2020
The goal also made waves in America, coming in at number three on ESPN’s top ten plays of the day. While their Sportscenter affiliate show tweeted footage of the volley.
THIS GOAL IS CRAZY ?
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 28, 2020
Flores’ finish was also admired by former and current players alike. Former Germany and Liverpool Didi Hamann midfielder claimed the volley to be the ‘goal of the century’
Goal of the century, best I’ve ever seen. https://t.co/wyIEAWpXZb
— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) February 28, 2020
Jack Byrne’s winning goal may be overshadowed thanks to Flores’ effort.
However, he took the time to praise the Dundalk midfielder when speaking to RTÉ Sport following Friday’s game.
“I played with Jordan at Wigan and I know how good he is. He’s an unbelievable footballer, so I was seeing trouble when the ball dropped to him at the edge of the box.
“I can’t say much about the strike; we couldn’t have done much about it. It was just one of those things.”