There are many things that FIFA do that anger almost every football fan, but the Puskas Award is a great bit of fun that allows players from all levels of the game to rub shoulders with those at the very top.
Named after Hungary legend Ferenc Puskas, the award sees a shortlist of goals get collated from men’s and women’s football. A winner is then chosen as the best goal in the world from the qualifying period, which in this instance, is 19 December 2022 to 20 August 2023.
Here is a look at the 11 goals that have been nominated for the award, and we will be trying to rank them from 11 down to what we think will be the winner.
Now this was a wonderful goal from Brazil at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, but the best Puskas Award winners have been individualistic bits of skill. A number of players did great things to create this goal, but Bia Zaneratto just supplied the expected finish.
This goal came as part of an unexpected win for Kazakhstan over Denmark during Euro 2024 qualifying and it was some hit. This was his first senior international goal, despite it being his 44th Kazakhstan appearance. Take a bow, Askhat.
Another stunner from the World Cup, Colombia’s Linda Caicedo showed every inch of her technical talent to score what ended up being Goal of the Tournament. She dazzled two defenders with her fast movement before curling the ball into the top corner, a shot no goalkeeper was reaching.
This sort of goal takes an immense amount of technical skill as many players could try it over and over again and not produce this result. The only reason it isn’t higher in our ranking is that it is not the most powerful volley, it’s more guided into the top corner.
This goal had two qualifying elements: it came at the end of a long passing move from Brighton, and it was just an incredible strike in its own right.
Sam Kerr was one of the major topics at the World Cup thanks to the injury that kept her out of Australia’s opening few games. She made up for the lost time, though, by hitting this ridiculously powerful shot over Mary Earps against England. Unfortunately for her, England responded and won the semi-final 3-1.
He hit this hard, alright. Brian Lozano makes his way onto the list for the sheer power and distance of his shot against Club America. It is reminiscent of Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s famous 2010 World Cup goal, just with the right foot. This one was from 35 yards out.
Some incredible technique on show here from Ivan Morante. Not only does he control the ball and score a wonderful dipping volley, but the presence of mind shown to lift it over a defender who came from his blind spot is amazing. It’s an incredible piece of skill and a wonderful finish.
As the ball makes its way to Nuno Santos for this one, you begin to wonder how this can be a Puskas contender. He then unleashed an amazing Rabona, for no reason, which thunders into the top corner. That is not easy to do and something we would all like to see more of.
This is a really serious contender to win the award and it comes from a player who was 19 at the time of the goal. He picked up the ball in his own half and ran with it, eventually evading four different defenders before firing a precise shot into the top corner. This goal was in the AFC U20 Asian Cup and Seong-jin Kang ended up being one of three players to miss a penalty in the semi-final.
It’s a bicycle kick from almost 25 yards, come on. Guilherme Madruga is a defensive midfielder and in the qualifying period for the Puskas Award, this is the only goal he scored. The technical skill on show is amazing, as well as the presence of mind to try it in a crowded area.