The last three nominees for the highly converted FIFA Puskas Awards were announced recently. The award celebrates the best goal of the calendar year, as decided by public votes which is what makes it such a special honour for winners. This list highlights the last three, and some of the best of the rest.
Radamel Falcao’s effort for his club Atletico Madrid against America de Cali on 19 May can only be described as a scorcher. As a corner was whipped into him in space near the edge of the area, he jumped into the air and performed an overhead kick that will be remembered for years. Although just a friendly match, the goal was good enough to get nominated for the last three of the 2012 FIFA Puskas Award, otherwise known as the Goal of the Year Award.
Last year’s winner of the Puskas Award is in contention to win it again after his superb one man effort on March 7 for his club Santos. The opposition players at International just couldn’t cope as the star of the future bobbed and weaved his way from his own half and showed his clinical finishing at the end of the run.
The third of the three finalists for the FIFA Puskas award 2012, Miroslav Stoch’s strike for his club Fenebahce against Genclerbirligi in a Turkish Super Lig match was as sweet as they come. On March 3, the former Chelsea man volleyed home a shot that hooked into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s fantastic overhead kick against England in November came on the same day that voting for the Puskas Award began so is not eligible but will undoubtedly be a contender next year. The bicycle kick topped off a great performance by the striker whose spectacular effort helped his team Sweden win the game 4-2.
Hatem Ben Arfa’s strike for his club Newcastle United against Blackburn Rovers on 7 January made the final ten of FIFA’s Goal of the year nominees, and with good reason. His fierce shot came after he gracefully danced passed the Blackburn defence to draw level in a game they went on to win.
The only woman to make the final ten of the Puskas nominations was Olivia Jimenez, who earned her place on the list with a stunning long range effort for her country Mexico in August. The Switzerland goalkeeper was powerless to stop the ball, even though it had been hit from 45 meters out.
In the game against Argentina and Brazil on November 14, Lionel Messi scored what was the best of his many goals in 2012 (90 and counting). After picking up the ball near the half way mark, the great Argentinian forward went on an amazing run culminating in a fantastic long range effort from outside the box that rocketed home. Nominated for the last 10 of the Goal of the Year Award, many will feel it should have made it to the last three at least.
Morgan Payne is a football lover and blogger. He also maintains a blog about free bets in Australia.