Lionel Messi has now been nominated for the Puskas Award a record seven times

  • Kobe Tong

There’s just something beautiful about watching Lionel Messi play football.

Some fans, ourselves included, can get so lost down the rabbit-hole of statistics that it can be easy to forget pure enjoyment and Messi is never faraway from a blockbuster performance.

While Cristiano Ronaldo is more of a battering ram in his destruction of teams, Messi meticulously dismantles his opposition like taking blocks away from a Jenga tower until it collapses.

Sure, it’s completely born in subjectivity, but it’s the reason that so many people consider Messi as the greatest player of all time and always tune in to see his moments of magic.

And although awards like FIFA’s ‘The Best’ and the Ballon d’Or have long celebrated his excellence, perhaps one of the most exciting accolades out there is the Puskas Award.

2019 Puskas Award

Ignoring the fact that Mohamed Salah bafflingly took the trophy last year, it’s a trophy handed out to the scorer of the finest goal regardless of where or what level it was scored at.

Sure, there is always going to be bias towards the biggest players and leagues, but previous winners have also come from the Malaysian Super League and Brazil’s Campeonato Goiano.

In regards to Messi, it might come as a surprise to learn that the Barcelona star has never actually won the award, yet there can be little doubting that he is the most consistent. 

Record nominations for Messi

After he was acknowledged in this afternoon’s 2019 candidates, Messi established his position as the Puskas Award’s most nominated player in history with seven goals considered.

In other words, nobody has produced more goals in the last decade that have, at the very least, been considered in the top 10 scored that year than Messi.

The player with the second most nominations is Neymar (5), followed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic (4) and a certain Cristiano Ronaldo – who won the inaugural award in 2009 – only has two nominations.

So, without further ado, let’s reflect on every Messi goal to be nominated down below:

1. vs. Valencia (2010)

There’s something just so fundamentally Messi about this first nomination, with the little Argentine evading three Valencia defenders effortlessly before scoring at the near post.

2. vs. Arsenal (2011)

Peak Barcelona at its finest. The assist from Andres Iniesta is nothing short of genius and while technically Messi ends up scoring into an open goal, his deft chip over Manuel Almunia was alien.

3. vs. Brazil (2012)

Starting things off by passing Marcelo around the half-way line, Messi sped down the pitch like a locomotive and finished off the move with an outrageous shot into the far postage-stamp. 

4. vs. Athletic Bilbao (2015)

After a few years away from the list of nominations, we have one of Messi’s most iconic goals and this solo effort in the Copa del Rey final will be re-watched for decades to come.

5. vs. United States of America (2016)

The only free-kick on the list is a truly special one. Messi became Argentina’s all-time leading scorer by firing a set-piece further into the top corner than he could have placed it with his hands.

6. vs. Nigeria (2018)

We’ve spent the whole article eulogising about Messi, but even we have to admit this is a bizarre one. A very accomplished first touch and finish, but was this really Puskas Award material? 

7. vs. Real Betis (2019)

It’s fitting that the latest Messi nod is one that encapsulates the aforementioned beauty of his game, channelling similar strikes from Eric Cantona and Frank Lampard to score with effortless style.
News Now - Sport News