2015 FIFA Puskas award: Messi, Florenzi, Wendell make the list

FIFA has announced the final three-player shortlist for the FIFA Puskas Award for the best goal of 2015.


The final three remain from the list of 10 announced earlier in November.

The list includes Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, AS Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi and Wendell Lira of Goianesia.


Messi, 28, is selected for a goal he scored against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey final in May, when he collected the ball just inside his own half before beating five men and slotting a shot into the bottom corner.


Florenzi’s goal was scored in the UEFA Champions League. The defender picked up a loose ball deep in his own half in a group match against Barcelona this season before bursting down the right flank. He then lofted an unbelievable effort over goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen from the touchline just inside the Barca half.


Wendell provides the one strike which comes from South America, netted against Atletico-GO for Goianesia in Brazil’s Campeonato Goiano in March. He scored with a stunning bicycle kick from 10 yards out after a running on to a lofted pass through the centre.


Colombia and Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez won last year’s award for his strike against Uruguay at the 2014 World Cup,


High-profile names among the seven dropped from the running are Boca Juniors striker Carlos Tevez, for an exhilarating solo effort he scored while still at Juventus in a Serie A game against Parma last November, and AC Milan defender Philippe Mexes for his stunning volley in an International Champions Cup friendly against city rivals Inter.

Also, Lloyd, who plays her club football for Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League in the U.S, scored an outstanding goal in the final of the Women’s World Cup against Japan in July but it was not enough to see her emulate Stephanie Roche last season by representing women’s football in the final three.


The winner will be announced at the FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich on January 11, 2016.