Puskas Award Nominees Ranked
The Puskas Award nominees have been announced and they are all incredible. The Puskas Award goes to the best goal of the year, from men's soccer to women's soccer there were many great goals scored and here are all of the nominees ranked.
11. Francisco González Metilli
While every goal on this list is incredible, there has to be a last place, and this incredible volley was unlucky to be put into a group with such incredible goals, as many other years this goal could win the Puskas award. What doesn’t make this goal Puskas winning material is not the incredible shot, but the stakes, because this goal was scored in a 3-0 league win for Central Córdoba, a middle of the table team in Argentina. But apart from this, the goal was excellent, Metilli had perfect timing and perfect positioning, which led to the wonder of a volley that had incredible pace.
10. Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli, who in his prime played for Manchester City, AC Milan, and Liverpool played in Turkey with Adana Demirspor for the extent of the 2021/2022 season, where he dominated, especially in the game where he scored this goal, as the epic rabona he did was his 5th goal in a 7-0 win against a team that were in the position of second to last before that game. Even though the score was already out of hand that doesn’t make this any less of a great goal, Balotelli managed to do 7 stepovers and then cheekily did a rabona to put the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.
9. Amandine Henry
To score a goal like this, a long range stunner in a game so big as the Women’s Champions League Final seems almost impossible. This was a goal scored in the 6th minute, the first of 3 that Lyon scored to win the final 3-1. Not only was this goal amazing in its style and form, with Henry putting the ball just on the edge of the top corner, but it was amazing because it set the pace of the way that Lyon played in that final, which they won, after playing with Henry’s intensity for the rest of the game.
8. Kylian Mbappe
It’s the 82nd minute of the World Cup final, Mbappe’s France are losing 2-1 and then the ball drops to the 24 year old on the edge of the box, he steps up, takes an off balance volley, and slams the ball across the net into the bottom right corner, putting the game in to extra time. What made this goal special, just like Henry's, is not necessarily the style of the goal, (which was amazing) but also how hard it would be to score a goal on the final of the world’s greatest stage that keeps your team in the game, which is exactly what Mbappe did.
7. Salma Paralluelo
This goal from Salma Paralluelo may not have been for anything, as Paralluelo’s Villareal lost the game this goal was scored in 6-1 to Barcelona, who went on to win the league. But it is one of the best long distance goals you’ll ever see, as the Villareal player got everything right, starting with the move that got her by two players up to the exact right placement and spin to curl the ball around the keeper. This might be because of the goal she scored against them, but interestingly enough, Barcelona signed her not much later and that is the club she plays with now.
6. Alessia Russo
Alessia Russo, like many members of the England Women’s National Team, was not widely known to most soccer fans before the Euros. But she won over English fans and fans from across the world with this little backheel. Russo had scored 3 goals in the group stage in blowout wins over Norway and Northern Ireland, but the goal that really mattered was what happened after she shot the ball at the keeper from around the penalty spot against Sweden in the Quarter Finals. After this, the ball bounced to the right side of the net and Russo hit the ball backwards with her heel, surprising the goalkeeper and the defenders, who weren’t even able to react. This was the third goal in a 4-0 win, an important victory that helped England on their path to win the Euros.
5. Dimitri Payet
Dimitri Payet, a player known for scoring incredible goals, especially from distance, didn’t let us down this year, as he scored a perfect volley. Marseille were up 1-0 in a Europa Conference League Game against PAOK when Cengiz Ünder took a corner, but instead of a regular corner that goes into the box he put it way behind the box where Payet was waiting and without an additional touch, Payet slammed it with great pace into the top right corner, giving Marseille a 2-0 lead, and they went on to win the game 2-1.
4. Théo Hernández
Everyone loves a solo goal, and Théo Hernández scored the best one of those all season. The AC Milan and France National Team left back retrieved the ball in a Serie A match against Atalanta around half way up his defensive half, he started dribbling up the field and didn’t stop, Hernández kept running into open space until he was challenged half way up Atalanta’s half, but his incredible speed got by the first defender, and then he veered left while using his amazing ball control to get past two defenders (one of them even ended up falling) while two more ran to the net, but before they could do anything Hernández put the ball into the bottom right corner, giving the goalkeeper no chance. This goal may go down as one of the best solo goals of all time, especially for a defender, as the distance totaled up to 70 yards, a great run.
Richarlison, a player for the Brazilian National Team scored a goal in the first group stage match of the World Cup against Serbia in the 62nd minute, but Serbia were pressing and getting close to scoring, so Brazil needed a second goal to seal the game. And 11 minutes later, Richarlison gave them just that, and more. A low cross was put into the Tottenham striker's foot, and he flicked the ball up into the air and bicycle the ball into the net, which is incredible, especially to even try that on a stage as big as the World Cup. That ended up being the last goal of the game and Brazil won 2-0.
2. Alou Kuol
Alou Kuol, an Australian soccer player is incredibly young to be nominated for an award as prestigious as the Puskas, but he deserves it, because his goal is one of the best of all time for an under 23 soccer match. The leadup to the goal happened when Kuol, playing for the Socceroos’ under 23 team against Iraq was running up Iraq’s box when the ball gets played in by Joshua Rawlins in the 47th minute of the first half (just 30 minutes after their teammate got a red card) into the front post. Kuol, who has run past the path of the ball already makes a desperate attempt to reach it by flinging himself into the air and performing a scorpion kick (Which is where a player sticks their leg backwards into the air and hits the ball with their heel while they are flying forward), miraculously, the ball does indeed reach the path of the Aussie and flies into the top right corner of the net, creating an amazing goal.
1. Marcin Oleksy
Oleksy, a Polish player, may not be someone that most soccer fans have heard of, this is because he plays in the 2022 PZU Amp Futbol Ekstraklasa, a Polish league for players who are amputees. The players run on one leg and kick with one leg (While the goalies are players that have lost arms) while on crutches, but Olesky didn’t need the crutches for his goal, as when the ball was put into the box by his teammate, Olesky jumped into the air and did a bicycle kick, putting the ball into the far bottom corner, not giving the keeper a second to react. A bicycle kick is hard enough to score for your average player, but to score with only one leg and crutches makes this goal all the more amazing.