Messi, Ibrahimovic Nominated For FIFA Goal Of The Year


Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are the star names on the 10-player short-list announced on Monday by FIFA for its Puskas award for goal of the year.

They are joined by three women and five men, with goals scored between July 16, 2018 and July 19, 2019.

There are nominees from the Bundesliga, Spanish Liga and women’s World Cup and one, a jaw-dropping shot by Billie Simpson of Cliftonville Ladies, from a Northern Ireland women’s league game played on what appears to be a public pitch in front of no spectators.

Messi, who has yet to win the award, earned the seventh nomination with a delicate chip for Barcelona against Betis in Seville. Ibrahimovic netted with a balletic volley for LA Galaxy in Toronto in Major League Soccer.

The award, which was established in 2009, is named after the legendary Hungary, Spain and Real Madrid striker Ferenc Puskas.

Fans can vote until September 1 on the 10 candidates nominated by FIFA. The governing body of world football will then choose between the top three vote-getters.

The two other women candidates are Ajara Nchout for a dribble and shot for Cameroon against New Zealand in the World Cup and Amy Rodriguez of Utah for a dribble and long-range shot in the US National Women’s Soccer League.

The remaining five choices are: Brazilian Matheus Cunha, of RB Leipzig, for a spin and chip against Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, Italian veteran Fabio Quagliarella for a back-heeled volley for Sampdoria against his former club Napoli, Colombian Juan Fernando Quintero for a free-kick for River Plate against Argentine rivals Racing, Andros Townsend of Crystal Palace for a volley against Manchester City and Daniel Zsori for an overhead kick for Debrecen in the Hungarian league.

Last year the Puskas award was won by Mohamed Salah of Liverpool. Ibrahimovic won in 2013. Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar have also won.

The winner will be announced at the FIFA Football Awards in Milan on September 23.


Cristiano Ronaldo Celebrates Ballon d’Or with the Bernabéu Fans

RonaldoPortuguese star, Cristiano Ronaldo, celebrated his third Ballon d’Or with the Santiago Bernabéu fans ahead of the Copa del Rey clash with Atlético on Thursday.

Joined by James, Kroos and Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid’s other award-winners at the FIFA Gala, Ronaldo offered the trophy, which confirms his status as the best player in the world to the fans who have supported the team to glory.

James paraded his Puskas Award for the best goal in 2014, while Toni Kroos and Sergio Ramos exhibited their accolades as members of the FIFA FIFPro World XI alongside Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo claimed his third Ballon d’Or in Zurich on Monday beating the two other finalists Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer to win the coveted prize.

Colombian, James Rodriguez, beat Robin van Persie and Ireland’s Stephanie Roche to win Goal of the Year.

The Copa del Rey clash, however, did not have a happy ending on the night.

Ramos and Ronaldo scored for the Whites, who tried everything they could to turn the knockout stage of the Copa del Rey around.

However, two early goals in either halves of the match from rejuvenated Fernando Torres condemned the Bernebeau stars to a 2-2 draw which ensured they bowed out on a 4-2 aggregate loss.

The defending champions had lost the first leg 2-0.