Sport

Goal Of The Year Award Finalists

We're yet to hear back from them, but we're adamant that Fifa have got the shortlist for this year's Puskás Award wrong.

Their goal of the year award doesn't include the sublime spinning-backward-header that one of the ShortList team scored in a six-a-side game last March. Admittedly, the player scored it because he tripped over his own laces as the corner was being taken, but we're willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

That said, the three finalists for 2014's award are still pretty special. Whittled down from thousands of candidates scored between 3 October 2013 and 26 September 2014, the final three contenders are all one-off spectacles of brilliance, true to the awards aim of finding the "most beautiful" goal of the year. 

Stephanie Roche

First up is Stephanie Roche, for her outstanding effort for Peamount United against Wexford Youths in the Bus Eireann National League, the women's national league of the Republic of Ireland. With her back to goal, Roche plucks a sublime pass out of the air, taking two touches to wrong foot the defender and unleash a volley into the top right hand corner of the Wexford Youths goal.

James Rodriguez

Already voted the goal of this year's World Cup, James Rodriguez's strike for Colombia against Uruguay appears to come from a position of relative stagnancy. With Colombia struggling to break down Uruguay's formation, a defensive header is headed back towards Rodriguez by Abel Aguilar. Chesting the ball into an apparent "sweet spot", Rodriguez drills a fizzing volley into the underside of the Uruguayan crossbar, leaving the keeper stranded. A "screamer". 

Robin Van Persie 

The goal that 'should' have scooped the top award at Brazil's World Cup Van Persie's acrobatics were the beginning of the end for Spain's defence of their international title. With the Netherlands 1-0 down, Daley Blind spotted the raised arm of his captain, loping through the Spanish back four. Unable to bring the ball out of the air, Van Persie did the apparently impossible, heading the ball into a looping path over the stranded Iker Casillas. The stadium, along with the Orange nation, erupted into celebrations of disbelief. 

You can head over to the Fifa site to cast your vote, with the eventual winner announced on 12 January 2015 at the Ballon d'Or gala. Our money is on Roche. 

(Image: Rex)

[Via: Fifa.com]