We’ve all got memories of worldies that have been for and against our teams. Many of them are in a losing effort. The truth is, we may not even remember the final score of some of those matches, but we remember that absolute screamer of a goal.
It’s not really that difficult to understand why. Sure, every goal is worth the same, even if it’s a deflected own goal that should have been flagged offsides in the build-up.
A beautiful goal may not be worth more in a match. However, it’s almost priceless in our memories. Thankfully, FIFA came up with a semi-democratic method of choosing the most aesthetically pleasing goal scored each year, known as the Puskas Award.
But who is Ference Puskas? And why is the award named after him?
What is the Puskas Award?
The Puskas Award was introduced by FIFA in 2009. The award goes to the player who scored the most ‘beautiful’ goal of the year. Fans and a committee of FIFA Legends both vote from a shortlist of Puskas nominations.
Who Nominates Puskas Goals?
While fans play a part in the process, FIFA is very much in control of the award process (Sepp Blatter must be pleased). In addition to choosing the eventual winner of the Puskas Award, all nominations are complied by FIFA in ‘collaboration with football stakeholders’. A FIFA committee then narrows the nominations down to a shortlist of 11 goals.
The Puskas shortlist is made up of 11 different players. No matter how many goals Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo bag, each player can only have one goal nominated per year.
Who Chooses Puskas Winner?
The public and ‘FIFA Legends’ jointly decided on the Puskas winner. Both groups rank their top three choices from among the eleven on the shortlist. The fan vote and the FIFA Legends vote both account for 50 per cent of the final verdict. The winner is the goal with the highest total of points.
Once nominations have been trimmed down to 11 entries by FIFA, the public is allowed to vote for the most ‘beautiful’ goal on the list. Fans can register with FIFA.com to vote. They select and rank three goals. The first receives 5 points, the second 3 points, and the third a single point.
The FIFA Legends do the same but this group voting weighs as heavily as that of all football fans on the globe!
The reason for this voting process was in response to a 2018 controversy. For that year’s Puskas Award, Mo Salah’s goal against Everton won over Gareth Bale’s Champion’s League-winning overhead kick.
Due to that incident, FIFA added new voting measures in order to make the award less of a popularity contest – it is a beauty pageant after all!
Who Is Ference Puskas?
Ference Puskas was a Hungarian footballer who was one of the greatest to ever play the beautiful game. Once a record, Puskas scored 84 goals in 85 games for his national team. He split his professional career between Budapest Honvéd and Real Madrid where he bagged 619 goals in 618 matches.
Besides scoring a ludicrous amount of goals in all competitions, Puskas had a very decorated career regarding team success. This included taking the Hungarian national team to the 1954 World Cup Final where they were defeated 2-3 by West Germany.
He also won 10 league titles (five in Spain, five in Hungary) and three European cups.
Why is the Award Named After Puskas?
Ference Puskas is one of the most prolific players in European football history. He averaged one goal per match for the entirety of his playing career. Puskas was known for his ball control, feints, and dribbling past opponents. He also scored bangers from 30-35 yards out with his world-class left foot.