FIFA Puskas Award 2019: Ranking the three finalists for Goal of the Season
The finalists for The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019 were announced at a media event held at the San Siro on September 1st.
Along with categories like The Best FIFA Player, The Best FIFA Coach, The Best FIFA Goalkeeper, and the FIFA Fan Award, the finalists of the FIFA Puskas Award, presented to the player with the most beautiful goal in the preceding season, have also been announced.
The organisation shortlisted three finalists from the initial ten-man shortlist, with Lionel Messi, Juan Quintero and Daniel Zsori set to battle it out for the accolade.
All goals under consideration were scored between 16th July 2018 and 18th July 2019, and the ten-player shortlist consisted of seven men and three women, which is the highest number of female nominees in a single year so far.
The final trio beat the likes of Matheus Cunha (RB Leipzig), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy), Ajara Nchout (Cameroon), Fabio Quaqliarella (Sampdoria), Amy Rodriguez (Utah Royals), Billie Simpson (Cliftonville Ladies) and Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace), and stand a chance at winning the prize.
The winner will be chosen from the top three by a panel of FIFA Legends and will be announced at the Best FIFA Football Awards gala in Milan on September 23rd.
In this article, we attempt to rank the three finalists on the basis of their nominated goals:
#3 Juan Fernando Quintero (River Plate) v Racing Club – February 10, 2019
Juan Quintero's sublime long-range free kick for River Plate against Racing Club in their 2-0 Superliga win in February has been described as one of the best direct free kicks of all time and rightly so.
The Colombian playmaker stepped up to take the free kick from 30 yards, and where most players would have opted for a cross, he decided to curl the ball right into the top corner as goalkeeper Gabriel Arias looked helpless between the sticks.
The goal helped River Plate to a 2-0 win as an unfortunate own goal from Alejandro Donatt helped Marcelo Gallardo's side to get the better of the league leaders.
Quintero has not had the kindest journey in football, having been plagued by a series of major injuries during his career, but his quintessential goal against Racing Club has reminded spectators of the impeccable vision he has always had and his buttery smooth left-foot.