By Shaun Davey
Wales international striker Hal Robson-Kanu has been nominated for the prestigious FIFA Puskas award. The West Bromwich Albion forward’s sensational goal against Belgium at Euro 2016 has been deservedly shortlisted. The award is given to the player deemed to have scored the best goal throughout the course of the year and the Welsh forward’s breath-taking Cruyff turn’ goal that put Wales through to the semi-finals of last summers tournament has made it on Fifa’s Puskas award 10-man shortlist.
Robson-Kanu, who was a free agent at the time, famously turned past three Belgian defenders before slotting a strike to the left side of Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who was unable to stop a goal that arguably goes down as the biggest goal in Welsh footballing history. The wonder goal put Wales 2-1 ahead at the time against many people favourites for the tournament Belgium, and it was a game that re-defined Chris Coleman’s career as his team eventually went on to win 3-1 and set up a European semi-final against eventual winners Portugal.
The goal was named as the BBC’s goal of the tournament and Robson-Kanu will be hoping to pull off a remarkable double when the winner is announced next year in January. The award named after Hungarian footballing legend Ferenc Puskas is a highlight of the football calendar, and Robson-Kanu faces incredibly tough competition and is in good company with Barcelona pair Lionel Messi and Neymar also shortlisted amongst the 10-nominees.
Also included on the list is Villarreal defender Mario Gaspar acrobatic effort for Spain against England last November as is Daniuska Rodriguez’s goal for Venezuela against Colombia in the South American under 17 Women’s Championship.
Also included are Hlompho Kekana (South Africa), Marlone (Brazil), Saul Niguez (Spain), Simon Skrabb (Finland) and Mohd Faiz Subri (Malaysia) who complete the top 10.
The current holder of the
award, is recently retired Brazillian Striker Wendell Lira, but previous winners
of the award include no other than Real Madrid forward and Portugal captain Cristiano
Ronaldo and Manchester United’s Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Voting is
open now and the shortlist will be whittled down to just three in early
December. Welsh fans and football fans alike are encouraged to vote for the
best goal, with the winner of the award to be announced at the Fifa Awards ceremony
on January 9th.