Better than Messi or Ronaldo: This woman nearly won FIFA’s Goal of the Year award

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Amidst the flurry of news surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s Ballon d’or win, one not-so-known name was making the rounds as a strong contender for another prestigious award handed out during the same ceremony. The FIFA Puskás award is an honour given to the player, male or female, who scores the best goal of the year in competitions around the globe.

Irish football player Stephanie Roche became only the sixth female player to be nominated for the award this year. Her wondrous strike playing for Irish club Peamount United (which she actually scored in October 2013 against Wexford Youths) came mighty close to grabbing the award, which has never been given to a female player.

Here is Roche’s unbelievable goal.

After receiving the ball at the edge of the box with her back to the goal, Roche showed tremendous grace and balance to control it, flick it over her head with the outside of her left foot and swiftly turn before putting in a thunderous volley. Roche became the first female player to finish amongst the three finalists in this category of awards.

And here is Colombia’s James Rodriguez’s amazing goal against Uruguay in the World Cup, which turned out to be the eventual winner.

Scroll down to see the other goals nominated in this category.

3. Robin Van Persie

Match: The Netherlands vs Spain, FIFA World Cup 2014

4. Tim Cahill

Match: Australia vs The Netherlands, FIFA World Cup 2014

5. Diego Costa

Match: Atletico Madrid vs Getafe, La Liga

 6. Marco Fabián

Match:  Cruz Azul vs Puebla, Liga MX

7. Zlatan Ibrahimović

Match: Paris Saint-Germain vs Bastia, Ligue 1

8. Pajtim Kasami

Match: Fulham vs Crystal Palace, Premier League

9. Camilo Sanvezzo

Match: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers, MLS

 10. Hisato Satō

Match: Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs Kawasaki Frontale, J. League