Ronaldo, Messi, Rooney? This year’s goal of the season might not go to one of the usual suspects.
That’s because – for the first time – Fifa’s Puskas Award could be awarded to a woman. Ireland’s Stephanie Roche is one of three names on the final shortlist for the best goal of 2014, along with Colombia’s James Rodriguez and the Netherlands’ Robin van Persie.
Roche scored her world-beating strike while playing for Irish women’s team Peamount United in October last year.
Juggling the ball with her back to the goal, Roche swivelled before volleying past the flailing keeper.
Roche explained that her matches with the club are normally not filmed, but footage uploaded by her manager of the goal went on to be watched more than three million times on YouTube.
“Most of our games aren’t filmed so I was lucky enough in that respect,” said Roche. “My manager Eileen Gleeson got the DVD off the Wexford Youths manager, then edited the clip and put it up on YouTube and it all went from there.”
— Dara Ó Briain (@daraobriain) December 1, 2014
Roche joins World Cup stars van Persie and Rodriguez on the final shortlist – the first time a woman has even made it this far in Fifa’s Puskas Award.
Rodriguez was nominated for this summer’s World Cup goal against Uruguay.
Van Persie’s flying headed goal also came during the World Cup, during the Netherlands’ 5-1 win against then-holders Spain.