Is This The 2017 Puskas Award Winner? It Has To Be
The decision to describe a goal as a candidate for the Puskas Award is frequently abused. There can only be 10 nominees in a given year, so you should choose your moments to describe a goal as Puskas worthy very carefully.
I’m going to go ahead and play one of my Puskas cards for the year on this unbelievable solo effort from Colombian Juan David Valencia. It’s a great goal, and it’s a great goal with many different layers and subtleties — this goal could win an Oscar.
It took me a number of viewings to understand how he beats the first defender with such ease. It’s a difficult flick to execute, but everything about it is perfect — the timing, the arch, the defender’s momentum and his first touch after rounding him.
He beats the second defender with a nice cut, it’s nothing insanely special but we’re just building the plot here. After embarrassing two defenders and moving towards the area, a Deportes Tolima defender decides that enough is enough, and he’s going to scythe him down with a professional foul just outside the area.
Valencia could’ve thrown himself over the challenge and screamed and writhed in agony on the other side, resulting in a yellow card for the defender and a free kick in a dangerous area. That’s what 95% of footballers would’ve done.
But Valencia is in the f**king zone here. He simply rides the challenge and continues on his merry way. Next, we have the finish. It’s nearly an impossible angle, just inside the box and approaching the goal line, but he somehow manages to whistle a low shot in-between his own teammate and another defender, burying the shot just inside the far post.