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Football Reporting


Son, Suarez, Gignac, WSL stars up for FIFA’s goal of the year prize

The nominees for The Best FIFA Football Awards 2020 were unveiled on Wednesday, including the 11 goals shortlisted for this year’s Puskas Award.

A variety of candidates from around the world are in contention to win the 2020 award named after legendary Hungary and Real Madrid goal scorer Ferenc Puskas, with goals selected from as far afield as Ecuador, South Africa, and the Republic of Ireland.

There are some familiar names — Luis Suarez, Son Heung-Min, Andre-Pierre Gignac — rubbing shoulders with less well-known players from across both the men’s and women’s game.

The voting is public and is set to run until Dec. 9, after which FIFA will announce the three finalists, all of whom will by vying to join the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Neymar, James Rodriguez and Mohamed Salah among the Puskas winners’ pantheon.

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For the record, to date Lionel Messi has never won the Puskas Award despite being shortlisted seven times in 11 years since it was established in 2009.

Last year’s winner was Daniel Zsori, who claimed the top prize with his 93rd-minute match-winning overhead kick for Debrecen against Ferencvaros.

Here are the 2020 nominees in full for you to run the rule over and decide your favourite.

Costa Rica’s Cruz, who plays her club football for OL Reign in the NWSL, tracks a deep corner as it sails high over the penalty area before connecting with a plum volley that whistles past the Panamanian goalkeeper in a Concacaf Women’s Olympic qualifier.

Flamengo attacking midfielder De Arrascaeta takes to the air to send a perfect overhead kick sailing over the goalkeeper and under the crossbar.

Dundalk’s Flores flails a limb and scores with a truly audacious volley technique that doesn’t begin to make sense even after multiple replays.

Another unorthodox volley, this time out of Liga MX as veteran French striker Gignac tucks away a side-on overhead kick for Tigres.

The ball sits up nicely on the edge of the area, and Chelsea midfielder Ingle does the honours by dispatching a powerful strike into the very top corner during a London derby in the Women’s Super League.

Goals from corners are obviously de rigueur at FIFA headquarters this year, with Junuzovic’s first-time screamer in the Austrian Bundesliga clash with Salzburg another fine example of the genre.

It’s hard to believe that a football has ever been hit harder than this 40-yard piledriver from Kekana, a defensive midfielder by trade, in a South African Premier League match last year.

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After picking up the ball on the edge of his own box, Son hurtled 78 yards up the pitch, driving his way past half the Burnley team before clipping a cool finish past goalkeeper Nick Pope.

Spontaneity, technique and raw power combined perfectly as Quinonez rattled in a free kick from deep inside his own half during a match in Ecuador’s Serie A last year. That fact that it didn’t bounce on the way in makes it all the more impressive.

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Suarez wrapped Barcelona‘s 4-1 La Liga win over Real Mallorca in impudent style when he flummoxed the goalkeeper with an incredible lofted backheel. Why did they let him go, again?

A second WSL goal makes the top 10. Weir marked the Manchester derby with a special strike from distance, torpedoing an unstoppable shot into the far top corner.

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