FIFA have announced the 10 nominees for the 2017 Puskas Award.
In honour of Real Madrid legend Ferenc Puskas, the FIFA Puskas Award was created in 2009 to celebrate the most aesthetically pleasing goal of the year.
Nine of the 10 nominees are men; Venezuela striker Deyna Castellanos is the sole female nominee, having produced a long-range effort from kick-off in the under-17 Women’s World Cup against Cameroon.
Nemanja Matic’s perfectly placed missile against Tottenham in the FA Cup is included, while Barcelona youth player Jordi Mboula’s strike against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Youth League was the only nomination to come from a solo dribble.
Mario Mandzukic’s breathtaking scissor-kick to polish off a sublime Juventus team move in the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid made the cut, while Olivier Giroud’s scorpion-kick for Arsenal against Crystal Palace in the Premier League is a strong favourite.
Hypnotising team moves from Celtic and Las Palmas have earned recognition; Moussa Dembele’s finish to Celtic’s myriad of passes against St. Johnstone is included, while Kevin-Prince Boateng’s emphatic finish to a crisp Las Palmas move against Villarreal could not be denied.
Universidad de Concepcion’s Alejandro Camargo channelled his inner Dejan Stankovic when his outrageous volley from behind the half-way line flew into the net, embarrassing the O’Higgins FC goalkeeper in the Chilean Primera Division to earn a spot on the top 10 list.
If Alejandro Camargo showed shades of Dejan Stankovic with a first-time, long-range volley, then Club Tijuana’s Aviles Hurtado transformed into Radamel Falcao for long enough to produce an obnoxious scissor-kick from a corner that flew into the top corner against Club Atlas in the Liga MX.
Perhaps the most unthinkable and dramatic finish came from the most unlikely and obscure of sources: Baroka FC goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke in the South African Premier League.
After coming forward for a late corner against Orlando Pirates FC, Masuluke chases a seemingly lost cause after the ball is cleared towards the 18-yard line but, rather than attempting to find a teammate with a pass, he launches a ridiculous bicycle kick that loops over Orland Pirates’ goalkeeper and into the top corner.
You can have your say on who will take out the FIFA Puskas Award by voting for your favourite goal on FIFA’s official website.