Messi, Ronaldo and Riley McGree? Aussie teenager earns Puskas nomination, as Sam Kerr misses out

The 19-year-old's scorpion kick in an A-League semi-final is vying for some huge global recognition

Riley McGree's sensational scorpion goal for Newcastle Jets against current club Melbourne City in last season's A-League semi-final has seen him join the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi by earning a nomination for the 2018 FIFA Puskas Award.

With the Jets trailing 1-0 at home in front of a vocal crowd, McGree's moment of magic sent both locals and the world crazy as his improvised strike went viral and inspired his side to a 2-1 win.

The 19-year-old faces some stiff opposition for the Puskas with overhead goals from Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the Champions League for Real Madrid looming as strong rivals.

Other big names like Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah and Ricardo Quaresma are also on the ten-name list with last year's winner, an Olivier Giroud scorpion in the vein of McGree's, giving the Aussie some hope of possibly taking out the award.

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel heaped praise upon McGree's effort at the nomination announcement and admitted he would vote for the teenager over the other big names. 

"If I was voting, I wouldn't vote for them [Ronaldo or Bale]. I really love Riley McGree's goal. That is extraordinary that," Schmeichel said. 

"Just thinking about doing that; the ball is behind you, and flicking it with your heel.

"You see the goalkeeper stranded in the middle there. He's got everything covered. The one thing he didn't cover was that.

"I think it was brilliant."

It wasn't such good news for Matildas superstar Sam Kerr, who once again missed out on a nomination for best women's player with Ada Hegerberg, Dzsenifer Marozsan and Marta all getting the nod instead.

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Kerr, still just 24, had another stellar year for club and country winning the Julie Dolan Warren medal for Perth Glory and setting a goal scoring record in the NWSL. 

Her omission understandably leaving fans and teammates less than impressed.