Riley McGree: I thought about kissing the back of Zinedine Zidane's head

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The young gun had a brilliant experience at the recent Puskas Awards

Riley McGree's life changed forever when he scored that brilliant scorpion kick goal for Newcastle Jets against Melbourne City in last season's A-League finals series.

The 19-year-old's stunning effort was nominated for FIFA's Puskas Award - an honour given to the most beautiful goal scored by a male or female in the past 12 months.

While he was unlucky to not clinch the trophy, with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah winning the award, the South Australian born midfielder was sat near stars such as Zinedine Zidane and Thibault Courtois during the London ceremony and certainly had a night to remember.

"I went to London on FIFA's dime which was good, my girlfriend and I went business," McGree told AAP.

"I walked the green carpet. And when we were seated I had (Zinedine) Zidane's head in front of me. I thought about kissing the back of his head.

"(Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut) Courtois was next to me. All the other players, the Salahs and the (Eden) Hazards a bit further ahead."

"It was a great experience but I didn't think I was going to win. These players, they're bigger players with bigger fans."

Riley McGree Newcastle Jets

McGree is currently on the books of Belgium's Club Brugge, and after spending the second half of last season on loan at the Jets, he has now been sent to Melbourne City to continue his development.

He says Warren Joyce's side are targeting trophies this season - having only won the FFA Cup in 2016 since joining the A-League as Heart nine years ago.

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"I'm confident this season. With the mindset and the players we've got, we can do well," McGree said.

"Our mindset is not to come into the top three or four and see how we go. It's to finish top and take it out."

Melbourne City begin their A-League campaign with a blockbuster against derby rivals Victory on October 20.

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