Barcelona stars Lionel Messi and Neymar are among the nominees for FIFA’s Puskas Award, which recognises the outstanding goal in world football over the past 12 months.
Messi’s free-kick for Argentina in their Copa America Centenario semi-final victory over hosts the United States makes the 10-goal shortlist, along with Neymar’s audacious flick, spin and volley at the end of a lightning Barca counter-attack versus Villarreal.
Alongside two of LaLiga’s finest imports, there is Spanish representation in the form of Mario Gaspar, for his spectacular overhead kick for against England, and Saul Niguez, whose mesmerising solo goal versus Bayern Munich in Champions League semi-final is deservedly recognised.
Euro 2016 is only represented once among the finalists, courtesy of Hal Robson-Kanu’s exquisite Cruyff turn and finish against Belgium that helped to send Wales through to the quarter-finals.
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) November 21, 2016
South Africa might not have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations next year, but Hlompho Kekana’s remarkable strike from his own half against Cameroon is up for the award.
Cornithians’ Marlone and Atvidaberg’s Simon Skrabb join Gaspar in having acrobatic volleys nominated, while Messi’s free-kick could be outshone by Mohd Faiz Subri’s vicious, swerving effort for Penang in the Malaysia Super League.
A stunning solo goal by Venezuela’s Daniuska Rodriguez against Colombia in the South American Under-17 Women’s Football Championship concludes the list, with FIFA.com users able to vote for their favourite until December 2.
Then the top three goals will progress to the final round, with further votes to be gathered before the gong is presented at the Best FIFA Football Awards in Zurich on January 9.
FIFA Puskas Award 2016 nominees
– Mario Gaspar (SPA): Spain v. England, international friendly
– Hlompho Kekana (RSA): Cameroon v. South Africa, Africa Cup of Nations qualifier
– Marlone (BRA): Corinthians v. Cobresal, Copa Libertadores
– Lionel Messi (ARG): USA v. Argentina, Copa America Centenario
– Neymar (BRA): Barcelona v. Villarreal, La Liga
– Saul Niguez (SPA): Atletico Madrid v. Bayern Munich, Champions League
– Hal Robson-Kanu (WAL): Wales v. Belgium, Euro 2016
– Daniuska Rodriguez (VEN): Venezuela v. Colombia, South American Under-17 Women’s Football Championship
– Simon Skrabb (FIN): Gefle v. Atvidaberg, Allsvenskan
– Mohd Faiz Subri (MAS): Penang v. Pahang, Malaysia Super League