Once again, an award Messi can win and Ronaldo can’t. He isn’t even nominated. The Puskas Award, FIFA’s best goal of the year for 2012 has 10 goals up for the title, with Lionel Messi on the list, along with the dribbling (and last year’s champion) Neymar & Hatem Ben Arfa who are the big names on the list.
Falcao is here as well with a fantastic scissor kick, but is match is a friendly one, and it’s hard to believe than any of the scissor kick scorers (along with Moussa Sow and Gaston Maella) will win the award. FIFA did the usual “let’s put a woman” in with Olivia Jimenez of Mexico, which highlights the horrific goalkeeping in women’s soccer. Two dark horses in the race are Miroslav Stoch and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu.
Hatem Ben Arfa, Newcastle vs Blackburn
Hatem Ben Arfa doesn’t score often, but when he does, it’s often a beauty. In this one he got a bit luck and enjoyed some pathetic Blackburn defending, but his balance and control, not to mention his finishing, were quite special in this one.
Gaston Maella, Nacional Potosi vs The Strongest
Won’t win because it’s from an obscure player and league, but there’s no doubt that the scorpion kick, one of the hardest to perform in the game, deserves a spot in the top 10.
Falcao, Atletico Madrid vs America de Cali
It’s weird that a goal from a friendly match gets to be in this, but Falcao is a big name at the moment and his scissor kick is quite exceptional. It won’t win.
Olivia Jimenez, Mexico vs Switzerland
FIFA always like to include a goal or two from women’s competition, but the goalkeeping in the cases of these long range shots is so terrible there’s no way Jimenez gets to win or even be in the top 3.
Lionel Messi, Argentina vs Brazil
Only a friendly, but FIFA love putting Lionel Messi in this list and try to promote international goals over club matches. This one is only here because of the rivalry, the drama (a winner in a 4-3 match) and the name of the scorer. The goal itself isn’t that great.
Moussa Sow, Fenerbahce vs Galatasaray
Few derbies are as big as the major one in Istanbul, and Moussa Sow clearly won a place in the hearts of Fener fans with this fantastic Bicycle kick goal.
Miroslav Stoch, Fenerbahce vs Genclerbirligi
Knowing Stoch, this was probably a bit lucky, but it involves quite a lot of technique to be executed correctly. Even if it was a lucky hit, it’s a brilliant goal.
Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Ghana vs Guinea
Remember Tony Yeboah? This goal oozes of that kind of class, as Agyemang-Badu gives the ball a nice little chip before he rockets it in for a sensational goal.
Eric Hassli, Vancouver vs Toronto
The Amway Canadian Championship isn’t the biggest competition of them all, and this goal suggests it was probably a dull year in terms of great goals around the world, not taking away from Hassli’s volley, which has a terrific spin and power on it after he connects with it.
Neymar, Santos vs Internacional
The king of the special dribbles in today footballing world, and the winner of the award from last season. There’s a good chance he’ll win it this season as well, with a special kind of spectacular running and weaving that probably only he can produce at the moment.