WATCH: FIFA’s Puskas goal of the year finalists – including Messi, free-kick stunner & overhead kick
On Monday FIFA revealed the three contenders which had been whittled down from a long-list of 10 nominees after voting by fans on the organization’s official website.
The contenders for the accolade – which rewards the ‘most beautiful’ strike of the year – include Barcelona and Argentina ace Messi, who has never previously won the award but came closest in 2015 when he finished second behind Brazilian Wendell Lira.
This year the 32-year-old is nominated for his incredible chip for Barcelona against Real Betis in March, which completed a spell-binding hat-trick for the number 10.
Messi worked his way free from the attentions of the Betis defense on the edge of the box before laying the ball off to Ivan Rakitic, who took a touch before rolling the ball back into the path of his skipper.
Despite the improbable angle, Messi then delivered a delicate lob over the Betis ‘keeper which went in after clipping the bar.
Another of this year’s finalists is Colombian playmaker Juan Fernando Quintero, picked for his phenomenal free-kick from distance which came for River Plate against Racing Club.
The 26-year-old made light of the distance and tight angle to fire the ball into the top corner for a goal that would be a worthy Puskas winner.
The third nominee is 18-year-old Daniel Zsori, selected for his overhead kick stunner to equalize later on for Debrecen FC against Ferencvaros TC in the Hungarian league back in February.
Incredibly, substitute Zsori had only been only the pitch for around 10 minutes in what was his first senior game for the club when he scored the wondergoal.
The pick of the bunch will be decided by a vote among a panel of FIFA Legends, with the winner announced at a glitzy ceremony at the Teatro all Scala in Milan on September 23.Also on rt.com ‘Worst Puskas goal ever?’ Internet incredulous as Salah wins FIFA best goal award ahead of stunners