The nominations for the 2019 FIFA Puskas awards are out and Paddy Power have odds available on who is the favourite to win the 11th edition of the award!
The Puskas awards started in 2009. FIFA created an award to celebrate and appreciate the most beautiful goal scored that year. The award is named after Ferenc Puskas. He was a Hungarian forward who played for Real Madrid in 1950/60. Puskas is widely regarded as one of the greatest European forwards ever. He played a total of 528 matches in his career, scoring 512 in the process.
There is a criterion that is applied to the ten goals that are put up for the public vote. Firstly the goal must be a beautiful one, the goals nominated but also be a variety of beautiful ones. This includes team goals, overhead kicks, individual goals, long-range goals etc. Secondly, the gender, nationality or championship in which the goal is scored in should play no part. A goal scored in the Premier League shouldn't be regarded as a better one than one in the National League just because its a better league. Next, there should be no luck, deflection, mistakes or the goalscorer offside. The final stipulation is that the goal should support fair play. The goalscorer must not of behaved badly in the game or be found guilty of doping previously.
All the ten goals are shown to the public and they then choose their favourite. The top three in this selection are then put towards the panel of FIFA Legends. They will then vote for their winning goal, and the goals with the most votes is the winner.
The very first winner of the Puskas awards was Cristiano Ronaldo. He beat Andres Iniesta with 2.04% of the votes for his goal against Porto for Man United in the 2008/09 Champions League. Last years winner was Mo Salah, with his goal against Everton. He beat some very good goals to win this award, including both Ronaldo and Bales overhead kicks in the Champions League that season.
🚨 #PUSKAS AWARD 🚨
The ten candidates have been revealed 👀
Vote now 🗳️👇
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) August 19, 2019
2019 Puskas favourites
Messi – 5/2
The favourite to win this years award is the player with the most nominations ever, Lionel Messi. The Argentine has been nominated seven times for the award but has never won it. His goal this year came against Real Betis. Messi was on the ball just outside the box but had a lot of players in front of him and the shot wasn't on. He played the ball out wide to Rakitic who laid it back on for him. Messi shaped up to smash the ball but instead dinked the ball, clipping the crossbar on the way through, leaving the goalkeeper no chances. This goal was an unreal goal that is worthy of winning any football match.
Townsend – 3/1
Our personal choice for the 2019 Puskas award would go to the Crystal Palace winger. This goal came around Christmas time against Man City. Palace had a freekick from a crossing position which was cleared by the Man City defence. Townsend was stood ten yards outside the box for this exact reason. The ball fell to him and instead of taking a touch he hit it the first time and the ball rifled into the top right corner. This was a fantastic goal, it rose all the way leaving Ederson with no chance of saving it. An extremely good technique is required for this type of goal, as volleys are very easy to get wrong.
Quagliarella – 7/1
The 36-year-old was one of Europe's top goalscorers last season with 26 goals in the Serie A. His goal for the Puskas award came against Napoli at the start of the season. A ball was played in from the right to the striker, but he was able to control it. He let the ball go through his legs and caught it on the back heel volley. The ball went to the left side of the goal and it was fantastic technique. The Italian striker knew exactly what he was doing and it came off. This goal is similar to the of Olivier Giroud's that won the 2017 Puskas award.
There are another seven goals that could potentially win the award and Paddy Power had odds available on all of them.