Peoples Puskas award contender 2023

Celebrating #PeoplesPuskas & 8 amazing goals you’ve never seen

Great entertainers like Richarlison and Dimitri Payet are hoping to win FIFA’s Puskas Award for the best goal of 2022, which would see them follow in the footsteps of icons like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

But the Puskas Award doesn’t always go to the famous names of football. Relative unknowns like Daniel Zsori and Wendell Lira have picked up the trophy – which is a great excuse to take a look around at some of the most overlooked goals around the world.

That’s exactly what Danish sports-tech company Veo have done with a brilliant thread on Twitter, highlighting eight cracking goals from around the world of grassroots football with the hashtag #PeoplesPuskas.

“Next week, the winner of the FIFA Puskas Award will be announced. It’s given to ‘the scorer of the most beautiful goal scored in a match by anyone, anywhere in the world – as long as it is captured on film,” Veo announced.

“We think FIFA might not have seen all of the most beautiful goals scored and filmed in 2022.

“Last year, talented grassroots ballers across the globe scored 5.7 million goals on Veo.

“We’re the first to admit we haven’t seen them all. But we’ve seen enough to think FIFA may have missed a few contenders.

“So, we’ve handpicked 8 grassroots goals worthy of recognition – and a nomination to the #PeoplesPuskas.”

Here are the eight contenders:

Kieren Crighton (Forfar United)

Not the Forfar of Soccer Saturday and East Fife 5-4 Forfar fame, this Forfar – United, not Athletic – are an amateur side.

We absolutely love this goal from Kieren Crighton, who couldn’t connect his overhead kick sweeter. Imagine scoring this goal in Sunday League. You’d be dining our on it for the rest of the season.

Oliver Johansen (Kareby Herrfotboll)

Oliver Johansen, who plays for Swedish side Kareby, judged this falling ball perfectly. Reminiscent of Zinedine Zidane against Bayer Leverkusen except further out.

Bonus points for bouncing in off the post. Incredibly satisfying.

Jodi Cornwall (Ilminster Ladies FC)

The first touch is lovely. The acrobatic second is even better. The keeper gets nowhere near it.

The celebration is perfect, too. Arms spread out like a snow angle, just waiting for the inevitable and deserved adulation from her team-mates.

Oli Babington (Clevedon Town)

This might be our favourite of the lot, just for how ridiculous it is. Zero subtlety from the boy Babington. Not particularly clever. Not particularly sophisticated.

Just an absurdly good volley from an absurd distance. We’ll take this over 30-pass moves all day long.

Even FIFA were impressed.

Ryan Hardy (Future Elite Academy)


Bonus points for wheeling away like Fabio Grosso. You would too.

Mathilde Tollagsen (Hundvag Idrettslag)

A lovely solo effort for a bit of variety, with a touch of Messi & Maradona about it.

We’re not going to be boring and question the defending, but rather choose to marvel at how Tollagsen evaded five challenges – and made it past one poor opposition player three times. Oof.

Conner Collins (Wessex Wanderers)

This one’s just silly but we love it for how gloriously Sunday league it is. The muddy pitches. The grey British suburbia backdrop.

You’ve played on exactly this pitch and can only dream of scoring a goal this jammy.

Zac Allen (David Green FC)

Chesting it down from a long and hopeful throw, Allen evades his man by keeping the ball in the air with no fewer than six more touches before walloping it home on the turn.

This one has the classic ingredient of many a great goal – an incredulous team-mate that cartoonishly puts their head in their hands in sheer disbelief.

READ NEXT: Ranking every winner of the FIFA Puskas Award since its inception

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