Puskas award

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WATCH: Manchester City target Sandro Tonali scores wonder free-kick

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Brescia’s sensation Sandro Tonali’s stunning free-kick goal should be on the big screen at the next Gran Gala del Calcio.

The Italian midfielder might be only 19, but his goal deserves to be on an infinite loop – the pace, bend and accuracy is, simply, a masterpiece.

Tonali, who recently made his senior debut with Italy against Liechtenstein in a Euro 2020 qualifier, has been referred to as the new Andrea Pirlo – who also started his career with Brescia – for his similar qualities as a regista.

Brescia owner Massimo Cellino recently stated that Tonali, who has been garnering heavy interest from Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, among other important European clubs, is worth $332 million and not the $55 million that the young midfielder’s parents and agent have told the Italian owner.

“His agent and his parents were telling me about this €50million evaluation,” Cellino said. “I replied that for me he is worth €300million, which means I don’t want to sell.”

“I have a dream,” he added. “If Sandro accepts, I am ready to make a big financial sacrifice to extend his contract. It’s up to him to decide. He can stay here and enjoy his football or go to a big club and risk being left on the bench.”

Money aside, Tonali sure possesses unteachable free-kick skills.

VIDEO: Puskas Award worthy goal scored in Brazilian Serie A

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This year’s Puskas Award has yet to be presented, but that didn’t stop next year’s version from finding a future home in Brazil.

On Saturday, Ceará’s forward Leandro Carvalho experienced a moment unlike any other against Corinthians, scoring the rare “olympic goal” with the outside of his foot.

The goal – one that is hands-down magnificent enough to be recognized as the Goal of the Year – was scored in stoppage time by the 24-year-old, which gave his side a dramatic draw.

This type of technique, precision and execution only comes around so often:

Puskas Award nominees include Zlatan, Messi, Townsend

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The insane Andros Townsend volley against Manchester City last season has been nominated for the annual FIFA Puskas Award for best goal of the year, alongside a Zlatan Ibramhimovic scissor kick, a ridiculous Lionel Messi plink off the underside of the crossbar, a blistering run by USWNT veteran Amy Rodriguez, and six other fabulous efforts from throughout the past calendar year.

The stinging Townsend blast set the Premier League on fire last season as it saw Crystal Palace stun Manchester City for the eventual champions’ second defeat in three matches and provided social media with some fabulous video content. The goal won the official Premier League Goal of the Season award and swept just about every other media outlet’s version as well, although it was challenged on the penultimate day of the season by Vincent Kompany‘s similarly blistering effort that helped Man City nail down the league title. Kompany’s effort was not included int he Puskas Award list.

Zlatan was nominated for his scissor strike against Toronto FC last September, a strike that saw him catch a delivery from Jonathan dos Santos with a spinning 360-degree karate kick that whipped the ball into the back of the net. The Swedish international won the 2013 Puskas Award for his outrageous bicycle kick from miles out on international duty against England.

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.

Rodriguez was nominated for a goal scored for her club Utah Royals against fellow NWSL side Sky Blue FC just last month. She burst through the midfield across the halfway line and took aim from well outside the box, a left-footed effort that found the top corner. She joins Nigerian international 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.

Others on the list are Sampdoria striker and Portuguese international Fabio Quagliarella, River Plate’s Juan Fernando Quintero, RB Leipzig’s Matheus Cunha, and Debrecen FC teenager Daniel Zsori.

You can watch all the goals nominated and vote for the winner here on FIFA’s official website. Fan voting determines the final three goals up for the award, and a FIFA panel of “legends” will determine the winner from those final three.

Puksas Award finalists: Somehow absent is USWNT’s Carli Lloyd

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FIFA announced on Monday its three-man list of finalists for the 2015 Puskas Award, handed out each year to the player who scored the “most beautiful” goal of the past calendar year.

[ MORE: 2015 Ballon d’Or finalists ]

The three men up for this year’s honor are Alessandro Florenzi (WATCH HERE), Lionel Messi (WATCH HERE) and Wendell Lira (WATCH HERE) — all scorers of fantastically beautiful goals this year.

That means Carli Lloyd, who made the original list of nominees before being whittled down to just three, is shockingly tragically scandalously criminally not a finalist for this year’s award. Reminder: This is the goal we’re talking about.

[ MORE: Timbers reach first MLS Cup | Crew SC to host MLS Cup 2015 ]

So, here’s the case for Lloyd:

  • She scored from midfield
  • She scored the winner from midfield in a World Cup final
  • She scored the winner from midfield in a World Cup final to complete a hat trick
  • She scored the winner from midfield in a World Cup final to complete a hat trick in the 16th minute

How in the world is Carli Lloyd’s midfield goal to complete a 16-minute hat trick and win a World Cup final not a top-three goal of the year? You got some (more) explaining to do, FIFA.

Puskas Award finalist Stephanie Roche coming to NWSL with Houston Dash

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Irish international and Puskas Award finalist Stephanie Roche is bringing her act Stateside.

The 25-year-old striker has found a job playing for Randy Waldrum and the Houston Dash, and her game is bigger than the wonder goal that earned her a trip to Zurich for the Ballon D’Or ceremony (Her goal finished second to James Rodriguez for the Puskas).

Roche has four goals in 28 appearances for the Republic of Ireland national team, and is leaving ASPTT Albi in the Division 1 Féminine, France’s top flight, due to problems with the language barrier.

[ MORE: Tim Howard still plans to retire at Everton ]

Which brings her to Houston, where she can latch onto through balls and crosses from new teammates Carli Lloyd, Morgan Brian and Meghan Klingenberg.

Waldrum says she could be the best Irish goal scorer since all-time leader Olivia O’Toole. Roche is ready for the challenge of being an Irish trendsetter in Texas, according to Independent.ie:

source: AP“No Irish woman has ever gone over to play in the NWSL so it is going to be a big challenge for me,” Roche said.

“I am under no illusions it is going to be easy. I am going to have to work hard and get my place in the team so I am really looking forward to getting over and meeting my team-mates and getting to know them better.

Here’s the goal, in case you forgot: