France star Dimitri Payet and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo have been named among the shortlist for the UEFA EURO 2016 Goal of the Group stage.
Payet’s stunning last-minute winner against Romania on opening night provided the glitz to a curtain opener that had looked set to end in disappointment for the hosts.
Cristiano is one of three Real Madrid players nominated, thanks to his wonderfully improvised back-heel after a fine Portugal move that ended with Nani’s low cross picking out his excellent near-post run.
His returning club-mate Alvaro Morata has two chances to take the prize, after twice tapping into an empty net to round off probing, cohesive passing moves that showed the reigning champions at their very best.
And another Madrid star, Croatia’s Luka Modric, is also in the running thanks to his thumping volley that earned a 1-0 victory over Turkey.
Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku, Germany’s Bastian Schweinsteiger, Hungary’s Zoltan Gera and Italy’s Emanuele Giaccherini make up the remainder of the nominees hoping to edge out Slovakia’s Marek Hamsík after his spectacular curling effort found the top corner against Russia.