Ireland’s Stephanie Roche will find out whether she has eclipsed World Cup wonder strikes from James Rodriguez and Robin Van Persie when the winner of the FIFA Puskas Award is announced on January 12.
Roche’s effort for Peamount United against Wexford Youths in the Irish Women’s National League is in the running for the award, which is given to the best goal scored in the last year.
Also on the shortlist are Rodriguez’s goal for Colombia against Uruguay and Van Persie’s diving header for the Netherlands versus Spain.
The Irish woman’s goal has become an internet sensation, going viral after being uploaded by the Wexford manager and has been viewed nearly two million times online.
Roche controls a cross from a teammate with her right foot, flicks it back the other way with her left before volleying home with the same foot — all without the ball touching the ground.
The winner will be announced during the FIFA Ballon d’Or awards, where the world’s best player will be crowned, meaning Roche will be rubbing shoulders with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in Zurich.
If she does win, Roche will become the first female recipient of the award. Previous winners have included Zlatan Ibrahimovic for his outrageous bicycle kick against England and Neymar’s slaloming run for former club Santos.