Messi misses out as Zsori stunner seals Puskas Award for goal of the year

Lionel Messi Barcelona 2019-20Getty Images

Former Debrecen man Daniel Zsori has scooped the Puskas Award for the most beautiful goal scored in 2019, the 18-year-old Hungarian beating off competition from Barcelona's Lionel Messi and River Plate's Juan Fernando Quintero.

Having been introduced just a few minutes from full time with his side tied at 1-1 with Ferencvaros, the youngster fired home an overhead kick from the edge of the box in the 93rd minute - all on his professional debut.

Having made 25 appearances in total during his time with Debrecen, scoring two goals, Zsori secured a transfer to fellow Nemzeti Bajnokság I side Fehervar during the summer.

What lies in the future of what is sure to be a long career for Zsori remains to be seen, but beating one of football's all-time greats in Lionel Messi to lift the award is sure to provide confidence on his journey.

Indeed, the goal Messi was nominated for was obviously stellar strike itself, the five-time Ballon d'Or-winning Argentine looping a sumptuous lob over the head of Real Betis goalkeeper Pau Lopez from the edge of the box.

Messi's incredible strike was the final goal in what was a routine 4-1 victory for the reigning La Liga champions.

The last name on the three-man shortlist was River's Quintero, whose incredible curling, long-range free-kick opened the scoring against Racing Club, beating 'keeper Gabriel Arias with his wonderstrike.

River would go on to beat their February opponents 2-0 courtesy of an own goal from Alejandro Donatti.

The Puskas 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.

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.