Who is the FIFA Puskas Award named after? The Real Madrid & Hungary football legend

Puskas award Mohamed Salah 2018 FIFA The BestGetty

The next edition of the FIFA Best Awards ceremony takes place in September, and with it comes the winner of the Puskas Award.

But what is the Award, who is it named after, and who has won it? Goal takes a look.

What is the Puskas Award?

The Puskas Award is given to the male or female player judged to have scored the most beautiful, or aesthetically pleasing, goal during the calendar year in any division, tournament or league.

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The award was inaugurated in October 2009, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s iconic 40-yard strike against Porto for Manchester United in the Champions League winning the first honour.

Judging the beauty of a goal is subjective, but the Puskas Award is awarded to the most visually significant goal. It is not awarded to a goal scored through a fluke, through a mistake or through a deflection – the goal should have been meant by the player.

A panel of select FIFA and external experts select the initial 10 nominees.

The public then vote for their favourite goal on the FIFA official website. The top three goals to have earned the most votes will be presented to a panel of FIFA Legends, and they decide the winner of the Puskas Award to be announced at FIFA’s The Best Awards ceremony in September.

This year’s nominees include strikes from Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Billie Simpson, with the winner set to be announced at the September 23 ceremony in Milan.

Who is the Puskas Award named after?

The Puskas Award pays tribute to legendary former Real Madrid striker and Hungary international Ferenc Puskas, who is regarded as one of the best players of all-time.

Puskas was an integral member of his Blancos side in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as the Hungary national team. Seen as one of the most iconic forwards in European football of his generation and beyond, he netted a then-world record of 84 goals in 85 international matches for Hungary.

Ferenc Puskas Hungary 1950

He scored an astronomical 512 goals in 528 matches in the Hungarian and Spanish leagues. Puskas became an Olympic champion in 1952, and guided his country to the final of the 1954 World Cup.

Following his retirement from playing, Puskas went on to manage teams in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

Puskas died on November 17, 2006 of pneumonia and was buried under the dome of the St Stephen's Basilica in Budapest on December 9, 2006.

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

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

Former Puskas Award winners

Mohamed Salah is the most recent recipient of the Puskas Award, his strike against Everton for Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby beating out the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

Other goals nominated that year included Benjamin Pavard’s strike for France against Argentina in the 2018 World Cup last 16.

Olivier Giroud’s famous ‘scorpion kick’ effort against Crystal Palace in the Premier League earned him the 2017 honour.

Former Puskas Award winners include Penang’s Mohd Faiz Subri in 2016, as well as ex-Goianesia striker Wendell Lira in 2015.

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