Johannesburg – The 22nd edition of the Fifa World Cup gets underway on Sunday night in Qatar and it’s expected to produce some brilliant goals across the 64 matches.
To prepare the fans for the spectacular goals to come, IOL Sports writer Mihlali Baleka looks at five long-range goals that deserve a nomination for the Fifa Puskas Award.
Aaron Herrera – Real Salt Lake
Major League Soccer has been known to deliver some wonderful strikes as former greats grace the US league in the twilight of their careers.
But it was the 25-year-old Herrera who scored this recent strike in the league, opening the scoring with a long-range thunderbolt against Atlas.
Aaron Herrera enters the chat. pic.twitter.com/EPC9QfKKgv
— Chris Smith (@CJSmith91) November 6, 2022
Yusuf Maart – Kaizer Chiefs
Chiefs midfielder Maart had a memorable Soweto Derby debut against rivals Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium late last month, scoring the match-winner from his own half.
After getting hold of a loose ball, Maart saw that Pirates goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane was off his line before beating him with a long-range strike.
A stunning goal to win the #SowetoDerby 💥
This strike from @KaizerChiefs’ Yusuf Maart could be one for the #Puskas list 👀
Who do you think deserves the award for the most spectacular goal of the year? Use #Puskas to share your contenders!pic.twitter.com/c1BtxF5FrT
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) November 1, 2022
Lukas Podolski – Górnik Zabrze
Podolski has had a decorated career, including representing the German national team and playing for Arsenal, where he won the FA Cup.
The 37-year-old is currently playing for Zabrze in Poland where he recently scored a wonderful goal in their win over Pogon Szczecin 4-1.
Lukas Podolski might have scored the Puskas goal of the year with this goal🎯⚽️, and at the age of 37 too. Big Baller⚽️⚽️🔥☄️.#poldi #lukaspodolski #goal #goals #football #footballplayer #germany #dynamite #fifapuskasaward #puskas #puskasaward #fifa pic.twitter.com/B74YBsztKh
— adensportsnetwork (@adensportsnw) November 16, 2022
Samuel Soares – Benfica B
South African-born goalkeeper Oscrine Masuluke was the last goalkeeper to earn a podium finish for the Puskas Award after his bicycle-kick for Baroka in 2016.
But Benfica’s Soares could soon follow in Masuluke’s footsteps after after his long-range clearance against Trofense beat his counterpart.
Give the Puskas award to Benfica youth goalkeeper Samuel Soares, immediatelypic.twitter.com/WIPVgjHxqo
— Jack Kenmare (@jackkenmare_) November 7, 2022
Hakim Ziyech – Morocco
After sacking coach Vahid Halilhodzic for alienating players, the Moroccan FA welcomed Chelsea's talisman Ziyech back to the team in September.
And the World Cup-bound Ziyech didn’t waste time in making his presence felt, scoring a great goal as they beat Georgia 3-0 in a warm-up match for the World Cup.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 17, 2022