FIFA has narrowed down the best goal of 2021 — or the Puskás award as it’s commonly known as — to three finalists. The 2021 Puskás award will be won by one of the following three players.
2021 Puskás Award Finalists
- Erik Lamela’s Rabona Goal vs. Arsenal
- Mehdi Taremi’s Bicycle Kick vs. Chelsea
- Patrik Schick’s Goal From Midfield vs. Scotland
Since the advent of the sport in the 1800s, England and football have been intrinsically linked. This bond started with schoolboys on muddy fields, with the objective to get the ball from one end of the field to the other by any means necessary — no rules, no limit on numbers, only brute force.
Football has now evolved into an organized game; manicured, well-lined pitches, tidy uniforms, and 11 players on each side. Kicking the opponent was outlawed and shinguards were installed should a stray boot make contact with the tibia.
Against all odds, Bodø/Glimt was just seconds away from a second consecutive Norwegian league title. Up 2-1 against SK Brann in the dying moments of injury time, Glimt just had to defend a desperation corner and they were league champions.
There would be no celebrations on that December day though, as an injury equalizer conceded against Brann prevented Glimt from sealing the Eliteserien championship on home turf.
In Europe there's a pretty established pathway to becoming a professional footballer: get signed to the academy of a professional club at an early age and hope that one day you're good enough to make the first team.
For an American with European dreams, the route is similar: either have a rich family that can send you abroad or hope that a European club somehow spots you.
Every goalkeeper has one dream that surpasses all other dreams. Yes, most keepers aspire to make top-corner saves and stop late-game penalties, but above all, every goalkeeper wants to score a goal.
A full-field boot over the head of the opposing goalkeeper is a welcome possibility, as is making a rare appearance in a striker's shirt. Yet very little can exceed the excitement of a last-minute equalizer.
After a decade-plus of domination by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, fans expected Ballon d'Or voting to bring some different results in 2021.
The obvious choice was Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, who was coming off a record-breaking 41-goal campaign in the Bundesliga.
Instead it was Messi — seemingly entering the twilight of his career — who won the award for the seventh time. "Surely something must be done," the people exclaimed at this perceived injustice. "He still can't be the best player in the world."
As a semi-active goalkeeper and current goalkeeper coach, I pride myself on being knowledgeable about all things goalkeeping. But early on into this project, I realized I was in over my head. My goalkeeper expertise was far outweighed by my previous lack of knowledge on women's soccer.
I couldn't rank the top ten women's goalkeepers because I couldn't even name ten of them. I was humbled and also disappointed in myself, but I set out to rectify the situation by producing the best damn rankings of women's goalkeepers I possibly could.