An Irish football player is a finalist for FIFA’s Puskás award, which recognizes the “most beautiful goal of the year.” But this isn’t one of Ireland’s famous footballers; the footballer fans have placed on par with Manchester United’s Robin Van Persie and Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez, is 25-year-old Stephanie Roche, star of the Irish women’s national football team, who plys her trade in the French Women’s League.
In strict footballing terms, there’s a case to be made that her goal is actually the most skillful of the three finalists, as she takes three touches to first control the ball, then turn the defender, and finally volley home a goal from outside the box — but it’s splitting hairs, as the other two are awesome as well. James Rodriguez’s goal is a lovely chest control and volley, albeit from a similar distance, and Van Persie’s is his amazing headed goal that opening the scoring against Spain in the World Cup.
We only have video of the moment by chance, as one of the coaches was filming the game.
You can compare the three finalists for goal of the year at FIFA.com and vote for the one you think is most impressive.
While FIFA has separate player of the year awards for men and women, the Puskás award simply recognizes the best goal, and this is the first time a woman has been a finalist.
No surprise here; Stephanie Roche has my vote!