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FIFA’s goal of the year finalists (Video)

FIFA have named Rudamel Falcao, Miroslav Stoch and Neymar as the three finalists for the 2012 Puskas Award, recognising the year’s best goal of the year.

The honour is decided by the public through online voting on the Fifa website and the eventual winner will collect his price at the same ceremony the Ballon d’Or winner is announced on January 7.

Before viewing the goals and casting your votes, let’s revisit the criteria set by Fifa to be adhered to when judging:

  • It should be a beautiful goal (subjective — the spread of goals should include long-range shots, team goals, overhead kicks, individual plays, etc.).
  • The importance of the match should be taken into account (objective — limited to “A” international teams, confederation championships and national top-division club matches: the more important the goal, the better).
  • The goal should not be the result of luck, mistakes or a deflection by a teammate or the other team.
  • The goal should support fair play, i.e. the player should not have behaved badly in the game or have been charged with doping, for example

It would appear that, since these measures were put in place, the powers at be at Fifa may have had a change of heart on the second guideline.

Falcao’s overhead kick, as sensational as it was, came during a friendly match against America de Cali. It’s reasonable to assume that, in the conditions of a competitive game, Falcao never would have been given the space needed to deliver such a devastating acrobatic strike.

Neymar’s exquisite mazy run through Internacional’s midfield and defence demonstrated pace, power and control, but it’s highly doubtful he’d be given the same opportunity against stronger opposition in the top European leagues.

That leaves us with the volley from a player who is generally rated lower than his competitors. Though it was also against sub-par opposition during a far from esteemed competition, Stoch’s volley showed impeccable timing, technique and style, and, more importantly, would have beaten any opposition in any competition on the planet.

Nonetheless, that’s merely one way to judge. Have a good look at the goals yourself and then cast your vote on the FIFA website.

Radamel Falcao


Miroslav Stoch