Monday, 16 September, 2019

Puskas Award nominees include Zlatan, Messi, Townsend

Billie Simpson in action for Northern Ireland Billie Simpson in action for Northern Ireland
Shannon Reynolds | 20 August, 2019, 21:24

Messi's strike - his sixth Puskas nomination, with no wins yet - came in March against Real Betis, a left-footed looper that clipped the underside of the crossbar and left goalkeeper Dani Martin with absolutely no chance. She joins Nigerian global Ajara Nchout and Cliftonville Ladies' Billie Simpson as the only females on the list, with Nchout's technically fabulous goal coming at this summer's World Cup.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22: Andros Townsend of Crystal Palace celebrates after scoring his team's second goal with Aaron Wan-Bissaka of Crystal Palace during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at Etihad Stadium on December 22, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom.

The 28-year-old is up for the award alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lionel Messi and faces even more competition from the likes of Billie Simpson's thumping half-way line volley and Fabio Quagriella's classy flick.

Ibrahimovic's goal was the 500th of his career and came during the 43rd minute of the Galaxy's 5-3 road loss to Toronto FC on September 15 at BMO Field.

Public voting for the 2019 award closes on September 1.

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The first woman named in this year's selection is Cameroon's Ajara Nchout for her outstanding goal against New Zealand in this summer's World Cup.

Last year's victor was Mohamed Salah for his goal vs Everton in Liverpool's 1-0 win over their close rivals. Ibrahimovic won in 2013.

The public votes on the initial top 10, before a Federation Internationale de Football Association panel chooses a victor from the top three.

The other two candidates are Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk.

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