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Olivier Giroud’s incredible scorpion-kick goal against Crystal Palace on New Year’s day earned him a nomination for the Puskas Award.
The Arsenal forward highlighted the Emirates Stadium with an audacious back-heeled effort on the ball which went straight into the net and the Frenchman has now been shortlisted for the best goal scored in the past year.
The recipient of the award – which is described on FIFA’s official website as the ‘most beautiful goal of the season’ will be determined by the votes of members of the public.
The nominee list for the 2017 award has been whittled down to just three after ten spectacular efforts were first put up for the prize last month.
Former Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic’s goal in the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham was among those that was axed from the initial list.
Giroud will be contending with Venezuela women’s team starlet Deyna Castellanos and Baroka goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke with the winner to be announced at the London Palladium Theatre on October 23.
Castellanos is the second Venezuelan teen in consecutive years to make it to the final three, treading in the footsteps of countrywoman Daniuska Rodriguez who reached the top trio last year.
She earned a spot for the award for her extraordinary effort from the halfway line against Cameroon at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016.
South African Masuluke is not only the first of his country to make it to the Puskas Award top three but also the first player from his continent to be named among the finalists.
His superb stoppage-time bicycle kick helped Baroka draw against Orlando Pirates, understandably capturing the attention of fans worldwide.
There will be an opportunity to vote until the day of the awards ceremony itself, with the winner of the fan vote collecting their award at the venue on Argyll Street.
The finalists for The Best FIFA Football awards were declared in the previous month with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar contending for the Best Men’s Player.
The Puskas Award – named after legendary Real Madrid and Hungary striker Ferenc Puskas – has brought lesser-known players come to the limelight with Mohd Faiz Subri of Malaysian club Penang the reigning champion.