Online voters have seen Irish footballer Stephanie Roche through to the final three in the running for FIFA’s Puskás Award, alongside James Rodriguez and Robin van Persie.
The list began with thousand of goals from around the world and Roche’s wondergoal is now one of just three in the running for goal of the year.
Roche is indeed the first female to ever in the running for the award, which is given to the goal considered to be the greatest of the year.
The goal in question was scored for Roche’s Peamount United side in a game against Wexford Youths in the Bus Éireann Women’s National League on 20 October 2013.
“When the ball came towards Peamount United forward Stephanie Roche against Wexford Youths, she had her back to goal, yet three touches later and without the ball touching the turf, it was in the back of the net. With her first touch she controlled it masterfully, before producing a dink over her marker’s head, spinning and unleashing a magnificent volley,” the FIFA website describes.
Roche’s ‘magnificent volley’ was a viral sensation last October, bringing her worldwide attention. She has sinced moved clubs and now plays for France’s ASPTT Albi as well as Ireland’s women’s senior international squad.
Roche has already issued a message of thanks to all who voted, along with a plea to keep voting.
Irish women’s football star competing with World Cup goalscorers
Roche is up against two FIFA World Cup goalscorers for the top prize. James Rodriguez’s “venomous, dipping volley” for his national team Colombia against Uruguay is a cracker to beat and Robin Van Persie’s diving header for the Netherlands during an unbelievable 5-1 victory over Spain might be the stuff memes are made of, but the online voters will decide it.
Last year’s winner was a sensational bicycle kick from Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a friendly game against England, though the famed footballer didn’t make the cut for the top three this time around.
The Puskás Award will be presented at the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2014 Gala on 12 January and only then will we know if Roche has indeed scored the greatest goal of the year.