The award season is nearly upon us and this time, FIFA have revealed their list of Puskas award nominees which includes a number of known names and a few unknown names. The award, which is given for the best goal scored between October 2015 and October 2016 has the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar, Saul Niguez and Hal Robson-Kanu vying for glory alongside the relatively unknown names such as Simon Skrabb and Daniuska Rodriguez.
The relatively unknowns will be hoping they can replicate Wendell Lira, who upset the likes of Lionel Messi, Phillipe Mexes and Carlos Tevez to take home the coveted trophy. Ever since its inception, the list has thrown in a lot of surprises with relatively unknown or unheralded players vying for the trophy and that has been the case this year as well.
While Messi has been nominated for his glorious free-kick against the USA in the Copa America Centenario, Neymar has found a mention in the list for the incredible skill he showed to find the back of the net after lobbying the ball, turning and shooting to score the goal against Villarreal in the La Liga last season.
Saul Niguez, who scored an incredible solo goal for Atletico Madrid against Bayern Munich in the Champions League also finds his name on the list alongside Hal Robson-Kanu, who scored the winner for Wales against Belgium in the quarterfinal of Euro 2016.
While Messi has been nominated for the award 4 times in the past, he has never bagged the same. Neymar, his teammate at Barcelona, who has been hailed for his tricky footwork, incredible ball control and goal scoring ability has already won the award once in 2011 when he was at Santos and will be keen to add to his current tally.
Following is the complete list of nominees for the award-
- Mario Gaspar (Spain) - 13.11.2015, Spain v England, international friendly
- Hlompho Kekana (South Africa) - 26.03.2016, Cameroon v South Africa, Africa Cup of Nations qualifier
- Marlone (Brazil) - 21.04.2016, Corinthians v Cobresal, Copa Libertadores
- Lionel Messi (Argentina) - 21.06.2016, USA v Argentina, Copa America Centenario semi-final
- Neymar (Brazil) - 08.11.2015, Barcelona v Villarreal, La Liga (Spain)
- Saul Niguez (Spain) - 27.04.2016, Atletico Madrid v Bayern Munich, Champions League
- Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales) - 01.07.2016, Wales v Belgium, EURO 2016
- Daniuska Rodríguez (Venezuela) - 14.03.2016, Venezuela v Colombia, South American U-17 Women’s Football Championship
- Simon Skrabb (Finland) - 31.10.2015, Gefle v Atvidaberg, Allsvenskan league, Sweden
- Mohd Faiz Subri (Malaysia) - 16.02.2016, Penang v Pahang, Malaysia Super League