The FIFA Puskas award honors the player with the most spectacular goal in the calendar year. But do you know the story of the football legend this award is named after?

The 2019 FIFA Best Awards will take place next month and there will be a new winner of the Puskas Award. revisits what this award is all about, the story of the legend the award is named after and who are the previous laureates of the prestigious award.

The FIFA Puskas Award is awarded to the player who is judged to have scored the most spectacular, beautiful or aesthetically pleasing goal, either male or female, over the calendar year in any tournament, league or division.

The award started in 2009 with Portuguese forward Christiano Ronaldo being its inaugural winner. His spectacular 40-yards strike for Manchester United against FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League was the first goal to win the award.

10 nominees with outstanding goals which are judged to have been deliberate efforts from their authors are selected by a panel of selected FIFA and external experts.

The 10 nominated goals are then put to an open vote by the public through the FIFA official website. The three nominees with the highest votes are then presented to a panel of FIFA legends who have the daunting responsibility of choosing who wins the Puskas Award from the three nominees. The winner is then announced at the FIFA Best Award’s ceremonies.

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On September 23, 2019 in the FIFA Best Awards ceremonies in Milan, the winner of the Puskas Award could either be Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi or Billie Simpson who are among the nominees for the award this year.

This Award is named after the legendary Real Madrid and Hungary international forward Ferenc Puskas.

Puskas is regarded as one of the greatest players of all times.

He scored 84 goals in 85 caps for Hungary which is a standout performance during his days and now. He was also a key member of the all conquering Real Madrid team that won five consecutive European Cups today known as the UEFA Champions League titles from 1955 to 1960 and was still an integral part of the team in the 1960s.

Puskas scored an outstanding 512 goals in 528 games in the Hungarian and Spanish leagues.
After winning the Olympics Gold medal in football in 1952 in Helsinki, Puskas led Hungary by example to the finals of the 1954 FIFA World Cup.

Prior to his death on November 17, 2006, at the age of 79, Puskás had been a football manager

He coached Hércules, San Francisco Golden Gate Gales, Vancouver Royals, Alaves, Panathinaikos, Real Murcia, Colo-Colo, Saudi Arabia, AEK Athens, Al-Masry, Sol de America, Cerro Porteño, South Melbourne Hellas and Hungary.

His coaching career took him to Europe, South America, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia.

He died of pneumonia and was buried under the dome of the Saint Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest on December 9, 2006.

The award was named after him so as a way to preserve the memories of the football icon.

“It is important to preserve the memory of those footballing greats who have left their mark on our history,” former FIFA President Sepp Blatter said in 2009, during the inauguration of the award.

“Puskas was not only a player with immense talent who won many honors, but also a remarkable man. FIFA is therefore delighted to pay tribute to him by dedicating this award to his memory.”

Whoever wins this year’s award will succeed Egypt’s Mohamed Salah whose goal for Liverpool against Everton in the Merseyside Derby in the English Premier League was voted as best.

The winners of the award have not necessarily come from the top players or top leagues in the world.

In 2015 the winner of the Puskas Award was ex-Goianesia striker Wendell Lira and she was succeeded in 2016 by Penang’s Mohd Faiz Subri.

Muambo Edward