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The FIFA Puskas Award: Celebrating Most Beautiful Goals

Ferenc Puskas, often referred to as the “Galloping Major”, was one of the greatest footballers of all time. He played for Hungary during the 1950s, helping his team to win the 1952 Olympic Games and reach the World Cup Final in 1954. Puskas played with an incredible display of dribbling skills, powerful shots, and unmatched accuracy in front of the goal. He scored 84 goals in 85 international appearances, making him one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the sport.

What is the Puskas Award? 

Ferenc Puskas

The player who scored a goal in the previous year’s competition anywhere in the world’s most popular soccer league, provided that goal was captured, receives the FIFA Puskas Award annually. A public vote narrowed the list down to the final three before a panel of FIFA experts determined the final winner. 

The Legacy of Ferenc Puskas

FIFA established the Puskas Award in 2009 to honor the legendary Hungarian striker, Ferenc Puskas. The award recognizes “the player who, irrespective of league, gender, or nationality, scores goals with the highest aesthetic value, devoid of luck or fortuitous errors, and in the spirit of fair play.” The Puskas Award is presented alongside the FIFA ‘The Best’ Player of the Year award at the annual FIFA World Players’ Gala.

Puskas’s impact on football has been immense, and his legacy has lived on long after his death. He has been inducted into the Hungarian Football Hall of Fame, and the Puskas Award was created to honor his memory and celebrate his contributions to the sport.

The Purpose of the Puskas Award

Puskas Award

The Puskas Award was created to recognize and celebrate the most beautiful goals in football. The award is meant to showcase the creativity, technique, and skill that goes into scoring a truly memorable goal. The award has become an important event for the football community. It highlights the best moments of the year and showcases the incredible talent of some of the world’s best players.

Puskas Award Criteria 

  • The goal must be a truly beautiful one. (emotional, but selected by voting and assessment from experts, and the reach of goals should include long-range shots, rabona, team goals, overhead kicks, scorpion kicks, individual plays, etc.).
  • The goal should be granted “without recognition of title, nationality, or gender.”
  • The goal should not be the result of luck, deflection by another player, blunders, or the player being in an offside position.
  • The goal should promote fair play. Misconduct or doping charges disqualify a player from nomination.
  • Players cannot be nominated for multiple goals.

Fans can vote on the eleven nominated goals on the FIFA website after which the announcement of the top three finalists will take place. The winner of the Puskas Award will be selected by a select group of FIFA Legends through a vote.

Who received the most Puskas Award nominations?

  1. Argentina’s Lionel Messi received seven Puskas Award nominations.
  2. Brazil’s Neymar received five Puskas Award nominations. 
  3. Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimović received four Puskas Award nominations.

Fun Fact of Puskas Award

FIFA Puskas Award Winners

Most Puskas Award nominations received by Lionel Messi never won the Puskas Award.

Lionel Messi has been nominated for the award a record seven times—more than any other player in its history—but he has never won it.

Who is the FIFA Puskas award 2009 winner?

Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) won the 2009 best goal award. 

Ronaldo won the inaugural FIFA Puskás Award. He scored a 40-yard strike in the second leg against Porto. He later said that it was his best goal ever.

Who is the FIFA Puskas award 2017 winner?

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) won the 2017 Puskas goal price for his famous scorpion kick goal.

Who is the FIFA Puskas Award 2018 winner?

FIFA Puskas Award 2018

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) won the 2018 best goal price.

Has Messi won the Puskas Award?

Lionel Messi never won this award, even though he was the most nominated player for it.

Has Ronaldo won a Puskas Award?

Cristiano Ronaldo was the first player to win this award in 2009. It was a beautiful long-range powerful shot with Manchester United against Porto.

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) Goal 2017 

Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager, at the time, called Olivier Giroud’s backheeled “scorpion kick” volley one of the five best of his tenure.

Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden) Goal 2013 

Players and pundits praised Zlatan Ibrahimovic for his 35-yard overhead kick with his back to the goal. The BBC described it as a goal that “combined unfathomable imagination and expert technique.”

James Rodríguez (Colombia) Goal 2014 

Manager Scar Tabárez of Uruguay also called James Rodrguez “the best player in the World Cup,” describing Rodrguez’s volley as “one of the greatest goals the World Cup has ever seen.”

The Impact of the Puskas Award

Since its creation, the Puskas Award has had a significant impact on the world of football.  The award has also helped to bring attention to some of the most talented and exciting players in the world. It has encouraged players to continue to push the boundaries of what is possible on the football field.

The Future of the Puskas Award

The future of the Puskas Award looks bright. The award is likely to continue nominating many talented players in the years to come. As soccer continues to evolve and change, the Puskas Award will continue to play an important role in recognizing and celebrating the best goals in the game. Whether it is a stunning bicycle kick, a powerful volley, or a perfectly executed free-kick, the Puskas Award will continue to showcase the beauty and skill of football at its highest level.


The Puskas Award has become the standard for recognizing and celebrating the most beautiful goals in football. The award honors the legacy of Ferenc Puskas, one of the greatest footballers of all time. This has since become an important event for the football community. The award criteria and voting process ensure that the winner truly represents the best in technique, creativity, and skill, and supports fair play. 

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