Young Irish forward Stephanie Roche is a finalist for the FIFA Puskás Award, given annually to the player who scores the best goal of the year. It is the first time a woman has made the top three of the award, voted on by fans, in this sixth year of the award’s existence.
Tehe 25-year-old Roche scored a stunning volley for Peamont United in October 2013. Watch it here:
Roche is up against Colombia men’s forward James Rodriguez and Dutch men’s attacker Robin van Persie. Voting for the final three goals is being held on FIFA.com, with the winner being announced on Jan. 12 at the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala in Zurich.
Rodriguez scored a scintillating volley against Uruguay on June 28 at the World Cup, while van Persie netted an incredible “Flying Dutchman” header against Spain at the World Cup on June 13.
The incredible goal helped Roche earn a contract with French Division 1 Féminine team ASPTT Albi.
“I need a lot of votes to try to win,” Roche said, matter-of-factly. “I’m up against some really big superstars who played in World Cups.”
Also on Monday, the finalists for FIFA World Coach and Player of the Year were announced. Nadine Keßler, Marta and Abby Wambach are finalists for the 2014 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year. Ralf Kellermann, Maren Meinert and Norio Sasaki are finalists for the 2014 FIFA Women’s World Coach of the Year.
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