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FIFA Puskas Award winners over the years

The FIFA Puskas award winners are decided every year on the basis of who scores the best goal of the year. The award is named after Hungarian football legend Ferenc Puskás and is also called the FIFA Puskás Award.

Who doesn’t love a beautiful goal? After all, ridiculous efforts and strikes are what make football the Beautiful Game. Overhead kicks, olympic goals from corners, a marvellous dribbling effort followed by a goal, and a long shot from distance powering into the net get the fans off their feet and the FIFA Puskas Award celebrates these goals and goal-scorers every year.

Who are the FIFA Puskas award winners over the years and which footballers feature on this list? Stay tuned to find out:

FIFA Puskas Award winners: What is it and who are nominated this year?

S.N Player Country Team Opponent Date
1 Mario Balotelli Italy Adana Demirspor Goztepe May 21. 2022
2 Amandine Henry France Lyon Barcelona Femeni May 21, 2022
3 Theo Hernandez France AC Milan Atalanta May 15, 2022
4 Alou Kuol Australia Australia U23 Iraq U23 June 4, 2022
5 Kylian Mbappe France France Argentina December 18, 2022
6 Francisco Gonzalez Metilli Argentina Central Cordoba Rosario Central August 1, 2022
7 Marcin Oleksy Poland Warta Poznan Stal Rzeszow November 6, 2022
8 Salma Paralluelo Spain Villarreal Barcelona Femeni April 2, 2022
9 Dimitri Payet France Marseille PAOK Salonika April 7, 2022
10 Richarlison Brazil Brazil Serbia November 24, 2022
11 Alessia Russo England England Sweden July 26, 2022

The FIFA Puskas Award known simply as the Puskas Award was set up by FIFA in the year 2009 and on the recommendation of then-president Sepp Blatter. The motive for the establishment of the award was to recognise the most beautiful or the most aesthetically wonderful goal scored in the game during a calendar year.

It was decided to name the honour after Hungarian football legend Ferenc Puskas who was also a striker for Real Madrid between the 1950s and 1960s. Puskas award is dedicated in his memory as he is considered to be one of the most prolific forward in European football history.

Portuguese sensation Cristiano Ronaldo won the inaugural edition of the Puskas Award with long-distance strike against Porto in the UEFA Champions League.

“It is important to preserve the memory of those footballing greats who have left their mark on our history. Ferenc Puskás was not only a player with immense talent who won many honours, but also a remarkable man. FIFA is therefore delighted to pay tribute to him by dedicating this award to his memory,” said Blatter at the inauguration of the award in Budapest.

While until 2018 the award used to be determined by public voting on FIFA’s website, a controversial choice that year forced FIFA to change the procedure. Now, the award is decided by football pundits who pick the winner.

FIFA Puskas Award winners: Complete list of players

Year Player Nationality Team Opponent Competition
2009 Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Manchester United Porto 2008-09 UEFA Champions League
2010 Hamit Altintop Turkey Turkey Kazakhstan UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifier
2011 Neymar Brazil Santos Flamengo 2011 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
2012 Miroslav Stoch Slovakia Fenerbahçe Gençlerbirliği 2011–12 Süper Lig
2013 Zlatan Ibrahimovic Sweden Sweden England International Friendly
2014 James Rodriguez Colombia Colombia Uruguay 2014 FIFA World Cup
2015 Wendell Lira Brazil Goianésia Atlético Goianiense 2015 Campeonato Goiano
2016 Mohd Faiz Subri Malaysia Penang Pahang 2016 Malaysia Super League
2017 Olivier Giroud France Arsenal Crystal Palace 2016-17 Premier League
2018 Mohamed Salah Egypt Liverpool Everton 2017-18 Premier League
2019 Dániel Zsóri Hungary Debrecen Ferencváros 2018–19 Nemzeti Bajnokság I
2020 Son Heung-min South Korea Tottenham Hotspur Burnley 2019–20 Premier League
2021 Erik Lamela Argentina Tottenham Hotspur Arsenal 2020–21 Premier League

2009: Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United

The goal Cristiano Ronaldo scored against FC Porto in the Champions League is a typical one which has been associated with him throughout his career. When commentators called ‘too far for Ronaldo to think about it,’ he unleashed a powerful right-footed effort that nestled into the top right corner from 40 yards out. Ronaldo would later call it the best goal of his football career.

Also Read: Cristiano Ronaldo teams

2010: Hamit Altintop, Turkey

Watching a footballer volley a corner straight into the goal is a treat for the ages. However, watching a footballer volley a corner straight into the goal despite being outside the edge of the box means that he is a guaranteed Puskas Award winner. That is exactly what Hamit Altintop achieved in UEFA Euro qualifier against Kazakhstan in 2010.

2011: Neymar, Santos

When Neymar was just a teenager playing for Santos, such was his football prowess that he commanded the attention of all of Europe. No teenager has been as captivating since and Neymar won the Puskas Award in 2011 on his second nomination for the scoring, by far, the most beautiful goal during the calendar year.

Also Read: Neymar Jr net worth

The Brazilian sensation controlled the ball near the left touchline, came inside with a piece of skill to fool two defenders, exchanged a one-two with his teammate before making his way into the box. Here, he fooled the centre-back with a swift two-touch move and finished off sublimely with a lofted shot off his right foot despite losing balance and falling down.

2012: Miroslav Stoch, Fenerbahçe

If Hamit Altintop’s goal for Turkey in 2010 was magical, then Miroslav Stoch’s for Fenerbahce just two years later was just the stuff of legends. Much like the Turkish player, this too came from a corner kick. However, this time, Stoch was nearly 30 yards out as the ball was floated to him outside the box. With three players racing to close him down, he made the perfect contact with the side of his boot and the ball looped and floated into the net with fury.

2013: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden

Nobody could have denied Zlatan Ibrahimovic the 2013 Puskas Award after the hulking Swedish striker perhaps scored the most audacious goal in the world. With England goalkeeper Joe Hart off his line and coming outside the box to clear a long ball, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with his back to goal, launched himself into the air and pulled out an overhead kick nearly seven feet above the ground.

The powerful strike off his right boot saw the ball climb a million miles high but still come back down to nestle into the back of the net to hand him his fourth goal of the evening. What a goal and what a player!

2014: James Rodriguez, Colombia

No other player can claim to have scored the Puskas Award winner in the FIFA World Cup, but Colombia’s James Rodriguez lit the world on fire with his display during this World Cup in Brazil. He was the best player in the tournament and his left-footed volley against Uruguay after a chest control and a turn from well outside the box was a thing of beauty!

2015: Wendell Lira, Goianésia

Wendell Lira’s Twitter bio simply reads ‘2015 FIFA Puskas Award Winner’ and while the current esports player does deserve to bask in the glory of it, there were much better choices that year. After all, Lira’s goal was an overhead kick inside the penalty box in a local league in Brazil and not that it is not difficult to pull off, but goals like those are scored in dozens every single year.

Meanwhile, Lionel Messi’s goal after dribbling past four players from the midfield in the final of the Copa del Rey against Athletic Bilbao not winning the award made fans scratch their heads in confusion.

2016: Mohd Faiz Subri, Penang

In 2016, Mohd Faiz Subri produced an outrageously wonderful free-kick whose clips went viral on social media. The ball rose high and swerved its way into the net almost unpredictably which kind of gives off the feeling that the player may not have meant it in the first place.

2017: Olivier Giroud, Arsenal

Olivier Giroud can claim to have scored one of the greatest FIFA Puskas Award winning goals after his majestically beautiful goal for Arsenal against Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

The move began with Giroud flicking the ball to his teammate from his own half and finished when he produced an unimaginable scorpion kick inside the box to meet Alexis Sanchez’s cross and the ball found its way into the back of the net after getting deflected by the crossbar. Giroud himself admitted that he was lucky that it went in the way it did, but this is the kind of goal professional footballers dream to score at least one in their lives.

2018: Mohamed Salah, Liverpool

In 2018, Mohamed Salah controversially beat Cristiano Ronaldo to the Puskas award. The Egyptian forward made his way into the box in the Merseside Derby with Everton and beat two defenders before curling the ball home into the top left corner with his left foot. It was a beautiful goal but honestly, it wasn’t the best that year.

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo had scored a sublime overhead kick against Juventus that got a standing ovation from even the opposition fans. Even Salah’s own teammate James Milner conceded that his was the seventh best goal that year.

2019: Dániel Zsóri, Debrecen

Thanks to his intuition, presence of mind and brilliant improvisation, Daniel Zsori made an awful cross look good as he produced a sublime overhead kick with his back to goal from the edge of the box to score a 93rd minute winner on his senior debut. It was the kind of goal that would’ve made Ibrahimovic very proud.

2020: Son Heung-min, Tottenham Hotspur

Rather than passing to a free teammate, South Korean winger Son Heung-min decided to channel his inner Leo Messi and dribbled past the entire Burnley team after starting from his own box. Although he beat only two players on his way to goal, as many as five Burnley players were on him at one stage but he avoided their attention and produced a calm finish to score the goal of the year.

2021: Erik Lamela, Tottenham Hotspur

After watching his teammate lift the FIFA Puskas Award a year before, Erik Lamela ensured that the award would remain at Tottenham Hotspur. While the Argentine international had produced a famous rabona goal against Asteras in 2014, it didn’t even come close to capturing the magnificence of the effort that he pulled off against Arsenal. Even teammate Sergio Reguilon was left holding his head in his hands.

FAQs

Who has been nominated for the Puskas award the most number of times?

Lionel Messi holds the record for being nominated for the Puskas Award the most number of times. The Argentine superstar has recorded seven nominations over his career, but has surprisingly, never won the award itself.

Has Lionel Messi been a Puskas award winner?

No, despite being nominated for the award a record seven times, Lionel Messi has never won it.

Which country has produced the most number of Puskas award winners?

Brazil has produced the most number of Puskas Award winners with two successes in Neymar and Wendell Lira in 2011 and 2015 respectively.

Who was the first to win the Puskas award?

The first footballer to win the Puskas award is Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.

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