Messi headlines final trio for Puskas Award
Lionel Messi headlines the final three for the Puskas Award, given to the scorer of the best goal of the season.
A panel of FIFA and external football experts selected 10 goals to put to a public vote and three of those remain in the running after seven were cut on Monday.
Barcelona icon Messi is the big name still in the hunt, while Juan Fernando Quintero of River Plate and Colombia and Hungarian rookie Daniel Zsori join him.
The winner will be announced on September 23 at The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony and we have the lowdown on each of the three still in with a chance…
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) v Real Betis – March 17, 2019
We have become so accustomed to Messi's brilliance that he makes the extraordinary seem normal, but his hat-trick clincher in March's 4-1 win at Betis was pure genius. After receiving a cut-back from Ivan Rakitic, he caressed a first-time chipped effort over Pau Lopez and in off the crossbar from about 18 yards when shooting through a crowded penalty area looked an impossibility.
Juan Fernando Quintero (River Plate) v Racing Club – February 10, 2019
A former so-called 'wonderkid' who went off the boil before enjoying a resurgence, Quintero has had a fine couple of years. A playmaker with an eye for the spectacular, his free-kick against Racing in the 2-0 Superliga win in February was quintessential Quintero – from about 35 yards out on the right flank, his left-footed strike bent inside the top-right corner in a remarkable display of accuracy.
Daniel Zsori (Debrecen) v Ferencvaros – February 16, 2019
Eighteen-year-old Zsori announced himself to Hungarian football in astonishing fashion in February. On his league debut, the attacker met a cross from deep with an overhead-kick just inside the area, picking out the top-far corner in stoppage time to secure a 2-1 win.