AN Ireland women’s football international has joined names including Robin Van Persie and James Rodriguez on the shortlist of the FIFA Puskás Award for the best goal of the year.
Stephanie Roche’s remarkable volley, for Peamount United against Wexford Youths in the Women's National League last October, went on to become a Youtube sensation.
It’s now one of 10 strikes in the running for the prestigious gong, the winner of which will be announced during a ceremony on January 12.
"I am absolutely delighted to have been nominated for FIFA’s best goal of the year,” said the Dubliner, who now plays for ASPTT Albi in the top division on France.
While the YouTube video has now clocked up almost 2.5million views, the 25-year-old revealed that it was increased activity on Twitter which made her aware of her place on the shortlist.
“I saw all my notifications, they’d gone mad, and I wondered what was going on,” she said.
“I couldn’t believe it. I was home two weeks ago and went to the UCD v Wexford game – there was some chat there about the goal being nominated, but I never expected it.”
Three of the goals competing for the prize are efforts in this year’s World Cup in Brazil, while other players’ goals include Diego Costa and Fulham’s Pajtim Kasam.
Roche is the only woman on the shortlist of 10.
“And that’s the biggest thing, really – it’s great for women’s football,” she added.