Ten goals will battle it out over the coming months to take home coveted Puskas Award, celebrating the best strike from the past twelve months or so.
A large number of outstanding goals where whittled down to ten strikes by what FIFA are calling “a panel of goalscoring experts” that included genuine striking legends such as Henrik Larsson and Alan Shearer, with the overall winner being the subject of a public vote.
Although there is no particular Irish interest year (with Stephanie Roche coming pretty close to causing an upset and claiming the award in 2015), there are still a number of goals on show that Premier League, Champions League and Scottish Premiership fans will instantly recognise.
Among those are Olivier Giroud’s spectacular scorpion kick for Arsenal against Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day of this year, Celtic’s Moussa Dembele finishing off a terrific team move against St. Johnstone, Nemanja Matic’s thunderbolt for Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham, and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic’s acrobatic overhead kick in the Champions League final against Juventus.
The ten nominees in full are:
- Kevin-Prince Boateng – Las Palmas v Villarreal (23rd October 2016)
- Alejandro Camargo – Universidad de Concepcion v O’Higgins (4th December 2016)
- Deyna Castellanos – Venezuela v Cameroon (3rd October 2016)
- Moussa Dembele – Celtic v St. Johnstone (5th February 2017)
- Olivier Giroud – Arsenal v Crystal Palace (1st January 2017)
- Aviles Hurtado – Atlas v Tijuana (1st April 2017)
- Mario Mandzukic – Juventus v Real Madrid (3rd June 2017)
- Oscarine Masuluke – Baroka v Orlando Pirates
- Nemanja Matic – Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur (22nd April 2017)
- Jordi Mboula – Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund
The winner, along with the Best Player, Best Coach and Fan Awards, will all be announced in January.
In this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we chat to Sligo Rovers manager Gerard Lyttle, analyse Dundalk’s EA Sports Cup victory and review/preview the latest League of Ireland action.