The FIFA Puskas award is an award that was created on October 20th 2009 and named after Hungarian striker Ferenc Puskas, who played in the 1940s-60s. It is awarded to the male or female who as judged to have scored the ‘most beautiful’ goal of the year in a first division league. It should not result from luck or mistakes and should be ‘an aesthetically beautiful goal’.

Over the 14 years of the awards existence some amazing goals have won, such as Ronaldo’s 40 yard screamer in 2009 against Porto which found the top left corner, or Heung-Min Son’s 70 meter dribble in 2020 against Burnley that saw him pick up the ball near his own penalty area and take 12 touches in the 11 seconds it took for him to get from one side of the pitch to the other.

But with only one award and possibly tens of thousands of goals to choose from there will always be some spectacular ones that don’t win the award. I’ve got 5 of what I think are the best goals to not win the Puskas Award:


5.     Benjamin Pavard vs Argentina – 2018

In the Round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup Argentina played France. When the game was tied at 2-2 Benjamin Pavard whipped out an amazing volley from the edge of the right side of the box which nestled in the top left corner. The goal that won the award was by Mohammed who scored his goal by cutting in from the right side of the box, going past two players and slotting it into the top left corner. Many say that the 2018 Puskas Award was a robbery, as many thought Salah’s goal wasn’t as good as some others that year. I certainly agree with this. The crazy part about this is that there are 3 goals from 2018 on this list!


4.     Wayne Rooney vs Manchester City 2011

In 2011 Manchester United hosted Manchester City in the Manchester derby at old Trafford. The game was tied at 1-1 before Rooney scored an insane bicycle kick from a cross to put United 2-1 up and eventually win the game. The most iconic goal scored in a Manchester Derby. The award was won by a young Neymar Jr, who dribbled past 2 defenders, played a one-two with a teammate and beat two more defenders to score.


3.     Cristiano Ronaldo vs Juventus 2018

Another 2018 goal. Ronaldo scored an amazing bicycle kick vs Juventus from a cross from team mate Dani Carvajal in the Champions league quarter-final that put Real Madrid 2-0 up. The goal even had the Juventus fans applauding CR7. Many say that this was the goal that should have won the award over Mohammed Salah, but I think there is one better in 2018


2.     Gareth Bale vs Liverpool 2018

The last 2018 goal on this list, as well as the last bicycle kick. In the 2018 Champions league final Real Madrid are drawing to Liverpool 1-1, until Garth Bale is subbed on and scores one of the best bicycle kicks I have ever seen. The technique is brilliant the power is superb and the accuracy is top notch, as the Liverpool goalkeeper Karius has no chance of getting there. Personally I think this was the goal that should have won the award that year.


  1. Lionel Messi vs Athletic Bilbao 2015

The best goal that didn’t win the Puskas Award. In the Copa del Rey Final, Lionel Messi scored a beautiful solo goal that saw him dribble past 3 players in 2 seconds with the ball barely leaving his feet before he cuts inside and puts away a beauty of a goal. The one that won it this year was Wendell Lira who scored a scissor kick, which was a brilliant goal, but many agree that Messi’s was better.