Most of you will have seen the news this week that Lionel Messi won an unprecedented 4th Ballon d’Or as FIFA’s player of the year. Undoubtedly a very deserved award, but not too many media outlets over here reported on the Puskas award for the goal of the year. The short list of 10 was whittled down to three finalists and Miroslav Stoch’s sublime side volley from a corner kick was the winner. I didn’t think I’d see a better goal than Falcao’s acrobatic scissor kick, but it is hard to argue against Stoch’s breathtaking strike for Fenerbahce. While the voting for the Ballon d’Or is pretty much the preserve of the superstars of the game like Messi, Ronaldo, Iniesta, Xavi or Rooney, playing in the biggest leagues, the 10 goals come from less well know players or unheralded competitions, such as the U20s Women’s World Cup, Bolivian League or MLS and are all the more interesting for it.
I personally had never seen more than half of the goals on the short list, so do you self a favour and take 7 minutes to watch 10 beautiful, beautiful goals and remind yourself why you love the game.
Another amazing goal that went viral this week was a goal that started from kick off, worked back to the goalie, and 20 passes later was in the back of the net at the other end without the other team even getting a touch. The fact that it was scored by a boys team in Greece, but has now had almost 400,000 views makes it something to warm the cockles of the heart of even the biggest of footballing cynics. . .