For the second year running a South African – Baroka FC goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke – has been nominated for Fifa’s prestigious global Puskas Award for goal of the year.
Bizarrely‚ due to the format of voting by public‚ Masuluke’s goal did not even win the Premier Soccer League’s award for goal of the 2016-17 South African domestic season at their awards in Sandton in July.
Masuluke’s wonder goal against Orlando Pirates missed out to a strike that was clearly less spectacular by Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala in what had clearly turned more into a popularity contest.
Masuluke has been nominated for his stunning overhead bicycle kick six minutes into injury time against Pirates that earned a 1-1 draw for Baroka at Peter Mokaba Stadium on November 30.
Last year Hlompo Kekana’s spectacular goal scored from inside his own half in Bafana Bafana’s 2-2 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Cameroon in Limbe was nominated.
Fifa’s vote‚ too‚ is made by the public for their goal award. Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Kekana was among the 10 nominations but did not get enough votes for the final shortlist of three‚ won eventually by Malaysia’s Mohd Faiz Subri.
Among notable names Masuluke will be up against for this year’s award are a strike by Ghana’s Kevin-Prince Boateng’s for Las Palmas in Spain’s La Liga and one by France’s Olivier Giroud for Arsenal‚ Juventus’s Mario Mandzukic and Nemanja Matic of Chelsea.
Masuluke‚ though‚ might be in with a shot at the prize. Goals have been scored by goalkeepers before‚ mostly though from free-kicks. An overhead kick from the edge of the area‚ though‚ was surely a first in history.
Fifa’s The Best awards nominees were announced in London on Friday‚ where the ceremony takes place on October 23.
The usual suspects – Portugal and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo‚ Lionel Messi of Argentina and Barcelona and Brazil’s Neymar of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain – were nominated for the Men’s Player award.
Fifa’s The Best nominations:
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal – Real Madrid)
Lionel Messi (Argentina – FC Barcelona)
Neymar (Brazil – FC Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain)
Deyna Castellanos (Venezuela – Santa Clarita Blue Heat/Florida State Seminoles)
Carli Lloyd (USA – Houston Dash/Manchester City Women)
Lieke Martens (Netherlands – FC Barcelona Femeni)
Massimiliano Allegri (Italy – Juventus)
Antonio Conte (Italy – Chelsea)
Zinedine Zidane (France – Real Madrid)
Nils Nielsen (Denmark – Danish national team)
Gerard Precheur (France – Olympique Lyonnais Feminin)
Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands – Netherlands national team)
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy – Juventus)
Keylor Navas (Costa Rica – Real Madrid)
Manuel Neuer (Germany – FC Bayern Munich)
Kevin-Prince Boateng (Las Palmas)
Alejandro Camargo (Universidad de Concepcion)
Deyna Castellanos (Venezuela U-17)
Moussa Dembele (Celtic)
Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)
Aviles Hurtado (Tijuana Xolos)
Mario Mandzukic (Juventus)
Oscarine Masuluke (Baroka FC)
Nemanja Matic (Chelsea)
Jordi Mboula (FC Barcelona U-19)
Borussia Dortmund supporters
FC Copenhagen supporters