It’s never surprising to hear the names Lionel Messi and Neymar in an award shortlist, but an unlikely contender has joined the duo as part of 10 nominees for the FIFA Puskas Award for goal of the year.
In the Malaysia Super League, Penang midfielder Mohd Faiz Subri scored an outrageous freekick against Pahang which clearly caught the attention of the world’s governing football body.
Here’s the clip of Subri’s magnificent kick.
The shot took a massive bend towards the right after it looked destined to skew past the left side of goal.
Subri is the first Malaysian and Southeast Asian to have been nominated for the award.
Like Subri, Messi’s nominated goal was also a free-kick from range for Argentina during the Copa America semi-finals, while Neymar’s was a volley against Villarreal for Barcelona.
Other recognisable names on the shortlist are Spain’s Saul Niguez and Wales’ Hal Robson Kanu.
The FIFA Puskas Award was set up back in 2009 to recognise the player with the “most beautiful” goal of the year, regardless of gender, nation or league. The 2016 award considers goals that took place between 30 September 2015 to 30 September 2016.
The award is open to public voting and closes by the end of this month, with results revealed on December 2.
You can watch the ‘nominees video’ rounding the top 10 goals in contention on FIFA’s official YouTube page.