Messi, Ibrahimovic lead Puskas Award nominations for best goal

Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic lead the names nominated for FIFA's Puskas Award, given to the scorer of the best goal of the season.

A panel of FIFA and external football experts selected 10 goals to put to a public vote, with the efforts ranging from the sublime to the outrageous.

Barcelona icon Messi is nominated for the fourth time in five years, while three female players are included after there were none up for the award last year.

All goals selected for consideration were scored between July 16, 2018 and July 19, 2019, and we have the low down on each one, with voting open until September 2…


The ten candidates have been revealed 

Vote now 

— (@FIFAcom) August 19, 2019


Matheus Cunha (RB Leipzig) v Bayern Leverkusen – April 6, 2019

Brazilian midfield Cunha dazzled the Leverkusen defence in April's 4-2 win as he latched on to a pass in from the left, beat a defender with a pirouette and then found the net with a sumptuous chip.

Matheus Cunha vs Leverkusen 

The kind of goal you could just watch over and over and over again

— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) April 8, 2019


Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy) v Toronto – September 15, 2018

Ibrahimovic has always been synonymous with the extravagant. His goal in last year's 5-3 defeat to Toronto is up there with his best. The Swedish forward got on the end of Jonathan dos Santos' lofted throughball and, despite initially looking set to take it down on his chest, he spun and guided the ball into the net acrobatically. His penchant for martial arts was immediately noticeable from the finish.

ARE YOU SERIOUS? #Zlatan500 in the most Zlatan way possible.

— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) September 16, 2018


Lionel Messi (Barcelona) v Real Betis – March 17, 2019

We have become so accustomed to Messi's brilliance that he makes the extraordinary seem normal, but his hat-trick clincher in March's 4-1 win at Betis was pure genius. After receiving a cut-back from Ivan Rakitic, he caressed a first-time chipped effort over Pau Lopez and in off the crossbar from about 18 yards when shooting through a crowded penalty area looked an impossibility.

An angle only he could find... 

This Leo Messi GOLAZO has been nominated for the 2019 Puskas Award. #LaLigaSantander

— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) August 19, 2019


Ajara Nchout (Cameroon Women) v New Zealand Women – June 20, 2019

Arguably the standout goal of the Women's World Cup was also a vital winner. With Cameroon being held to a 1-1 draw, Nchout – who also got her team's first – embarked on a mazy run, beating her marker twice with sharp turns before guiding a composed finish in to seal a late 2-1 win and book their place in the knockout phase of the competition.

An injury-time winner to send #CMR through to the next round.

Ajara Nchout, take a bow! #FIFAWWC #ChangeTheGame

— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) June 20, 2019


Fabio Quagliarella (Sampdoria) v Napoli – September 2, 2018

Quagliarella went on to have the best season of his career at the ripe old age of 36 last term, scoring 26 times. We should have seen the early signs, as his first of the campaign was a truly special effort. Against his former club Napoli, Quagliarella met Bartosz Bereszynski's right-wing cross with an airborne back-heeled effort from 12 yards that left the goalkeeper helpless.

 #SampNapoli#Quagliarella: «Gol da sogno, vittoria stupenda»

— U.C. Sampdoria (@sampdoria) September 2, 2018


Juan Fernando Quintero (River Plate) v Racing Club – February 10, 2019

A former so-called 'wonderkid' who went off the boil before enjoying a resurgence, Quintero has had a fine couple of years. A playmaker with an eye for the spectacular, his free-kick against Racing in the 2-0 Superliga win in February was quintessential Quintero – from about 35 yards out on the right flank, his left-footed strike bent inside the top-right corner in a remarkable display of accuracy.

 10/2/2019 - El primero del año 

La magia de Juanfer Quintero para colgarla del ángulo y abrir el camino del triunfo ante Racing en el Monumental.#RiverDeTiroLibre

— River Plate (@RiverPlate) April 4, 2019


Amy Rodriguez (Utah Royals) v Sky Blue FC – June 16, 2019

After picking up possession inside her own half, Rodriguez cleverly side-stepped a defender and burst into the attack. She got to the final third and, sensing little support, let fly with a left-footed screamer that nestled in the top-right corner.

A world-class goal for the #NWSL Goal of the Week! @amyrodriguez8

— Utah Royals FC (@UtahRoyalsFC) June 18, 2019


Billie Simpson (Cliftonville Ladies) v Sion Swift Ladies – August 9, 2018

A truly ridiculous goal. Straight from the opposing goal-kick, Simpson volleyed it right back in the opposite direction, catching it perfectly with a ferocious volley that caught the goalkeeper completely off guard.


Photo Getty Images. Caption: Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic