Ranking every Puskas Award winner from worst to best since 2009

The winner of the 2023 Puskas Award has now been revealed, so Football FanCast has taken a look at all of the winners, dating back to 2009 – the edition’s inaugural year.

It’s been a difficult list to rank, with so many goals worthy of placing higher up, but we’ve tried our best.

Without further ado, here are our selections!

Mohamed Salah v Everton



Mohamed Salah enjoyed an electrifying start to his Anfield career after making a £34.3m switch from Serie A side Roma in the summer of 2017.

His debut season saw him net a whopping 32 times in the Premier League, but it was his sublime effort against Everton in the Merseyside derby that was the pick of the bunch.

The Liverpool wideman received the ball from Joe Gomez on the right-hand side of the penalty area before shrugging off his marker, gliding past the second onrushing defender, and shaping up to perfectly curl the ball home past the helpless Jordan Pickford in goal.

As the snow fell, Salah wheeled away in celebration, lifting his hands aloft with a relatively emotionless face, personifying a cool figure, befitting of the English weather!

A stunner, but was it really the best goal scored that year?

Wendell Lira v Atlético Clube Goianiense



Wendell Lira was involved in the slick build-up play prior to his first-time bicycle kick finish – which he had to adapt brilliantly to, turning in a 360-degree motion.

Lira’s marvellous goal beat stiff competition that year in the form of Lionel Messi, who came runner-up to the right-winger.

Messi’s magnificent solo goal against Athletic Bilbao wasn’t enough to overthrow the Brazillian’s effort, evincing just how ridiculous it was.

James Rodriguez v Uruguay



Next up is James Rodriguez’s iconic World Cup goal against Uruguay. The Colombian enjoyed a magnificent campaign at the 2014 tournament, scoring six goals and collecting the Golden Boot award.

His Puskas-winning goal was out of this world, as he controlled the ball on his chest before pivoting to release a dipping left-footed volley that struck the crossbar on its way in.

From an aesthetic viewpoint, seeing the ball hit the bar before bouncing down and back up into the roof of the net made the goal that extra bit special and certainly one worthy of winning the prestigious award.

His glittering performances at the World Cup prompted La Liga giants Real Madrid to outlay £71m to sign him from AS Monaco, adding to their star-studded squad of Galacticos.

Hamit Altıntop v Kazakhstan



Hamit Altıntop was known for his long-range shooting ability, but even by his standards, the Turkey international must’ve surprised himself when he powered home a thunderous 20-yard volley against Kazakhstan back in 2010.

Though, his fairly muted celebration – considering the quality of the goal – would suggest it’s nothing wildly out of the ordinary for him, just another wonder-strike to add to his growing dossier.

Even his comments after winning the esteemed award appeared nonchalant: “It’s not that bad to write a bit of history,” Altıntop said.

Son Heung-min v Burnley



Just missing out on the top 10 is Son Heung-min’s 70-yard solo run that ended with a cool and composed finish. Had it not been for the poor Burnley defending, this goal would’ve placed much higher.

Notwithstanding that, it still took a tremendous amount of close control whilst running at speed with the ball, gliding past several opposition players.

And to have the composure to steady himself before stroking the ball past the imposing 6-foot-6 presence of Nick Pope was extraordinary.

It is certainly a goal that will live long in the memories of Spurs fans.

Erik Lamela v Arsenal



Erik Lamela’s jaw-dropping ‘rabona’ goal in the north London derby a few years back left Sergio Reguilon in complete amazement.

His reaction to the Argentinian’s strike was almost as good as the goal itself as he immediately put his hands on his head in utter disbelief.

Lamela could hardly believe it either, though his euphoria quickly turned to red mist later in the game after receiving a second yellow card for catching Kieran Tierney in the face with his arm.

Nevertheless, a terrific bit of imagination from the wide player to flick the ball with his ‘wrong foot’ through the legs of Thomas Partey and into the back of the net.

Guilherme Madruga vs Novorizontino



Guilherme Madruga took the prize for the 2023 award with his stunning overhead kick from around 25 yards out. Playing for Botafogo-SP in the Brazilian second tier, the midfielder scored the goal in a victory against Novorizontino.

Surrounded by defenders and with his back to goal, Madruga was forced to produce a moment of creativity that left many in disbelief as his looping overhead kick dipped under the bar to beat the goalkeeper.

And it was apparent even the player himself was left stunned by what he had done as he spoke about the sensational goal which saw him beat the likes of Brighton & Hove Albion’s Julio Enciso to the award:

“After the game, I watched the video of the goal again and only then did I realise what I’d done,” Madruga said.

Mohd Faiz Subri v Pahang



Mohd Faiz Subri struck a long-range free-kick effort against fellow Malaysian side Pahang in 2015 that had the most incredible amount of unpredictable swerve on it.

In fact, it’s the type of strike that when described to you, sounds inconceivable, but thankfully, the wondergoal was captured on film for the world to marvel at.

The opposing goalkeeper stood helplessly, watching the ball fly into the top corner, as the home fans were sent into raptures at the Bandaraya Pulau Pinang Stadium.

Miroslav Stoch v Gençlerbirliği S.K.



Outside-of-the-area volleys are always special, but this one is even more so. The technique Miroslav Stoch went for is unequivocally more difficult than a typical ‘laces through the ball’ strike.

The Slovakian wideman beautifully struck the ball into the reverse corner, leaving the goalkeeper with absolutely no chance. The assist is certainly worth noting, too, as the ball was perfectly flighted from corner taker Alex onto the right boot of Stoch.

He was quick to give credit to the Brazilian in his winning speech: “But, first of all, I would say big credit for our ex-captain Alex (de Souza), who took the corner. He played me a perfect ball.”

Cristiano Ronaldo v Porto



Cristiano Ronaldo – during his final season at Manchester United – produced an absolute showstopper in the Champions League quarter-finals to silence the boos that rung around Porto’s imposing Estadio do Dragao.

The Portuguese superstar, on his return to his home nation, leathered the ball from 39.6 yards out into the top corner, with the strike clocking in at a remarkable 64.2mph. To put that into context, the speed of his shot would exceed the speed limit on a single carriageway in England…

It also turned out to be the winning goal as United progressed through to the semi-finals of the competition.

Neymar Jr v Flamengo



Neymar Jr’s solo effort against Flamengo back in 2011 foreshadowed the player he matured into for years to come, and this particular highlight-reel goal was the springboard to his global notoriety.

The talented teen’s profile rose to superstardom following this jaw-dropping effort, which left defenders dazzled at his trickery and quick feet.

It’s one thing to skip past several defenders, which is remarkable in itself, but to then cap it off with a composed outside-of-the-boot finish is astounding.

Certainly deserving of a place in the top 5.

Dániel Zsóri v Ferencváros



2000-born Hungarian forward Dániel Zsóri produced one of the best bicycle-kick goals you will ever see on his senior debut to win the match against league leaders Ferencváros in stoppage time.

The cross was behind Debrecen’s debutant, but he adapted superbly and creatively to acrobatically divert home into the far corner. The power he generated, too, is worth noting for such a difficult technique.

Zsóri was just 18 years old at the time, and his goal fended off competition from Lionel Messi (again) and River Plate’s Juan Fernando Quintero.

Zlatan Ibrahimović v England



Making the podium is Zlatan Ibrahimović’s unforgettable 30-yard bicycle kick against England. To score a bicycle-kick is near impossible in itself; most footballers will only dream of scoring with the acrobatic technique. But to score with one from 30 yards out is just inconceivable.

Yet the Swedish forward did just that, leaving the Stockholm spectators stunned. The towering, yet gracious, centre-forward was known for a spectacular goal, or two, but this effort surely tops the lot.

It’s also subtly gone under the radar that that goal was his fourth of the evening as his side tore apart the Three Lions 4-2.

Marcin Oleksy v Stal Rzeszów



Marcin Oleksy became the first amputee to win the Puskas Goal Award when he fired home a stunning bicycle kick goal against Stal Rzeszów last year.

Oleksy planted his left crutch on the grass and pivoted mid-air, before unleashing an unstoppable strike into the far corner, leaving the opposition’s goalkeeper helpless. The difficulty of this goal is off the charts.

Oleksy’s remarkable effort saw off competition from Richarlison and Dimitri Payet, whose goals placed second and third respectively. The Brazil international described him as an ‘inspiration for us all’.

The Polish forward made five appearances for his nation at the WAFF Amputee Football World Cup in Turkey last year.

Olivier Giroud v Crystal Palace



And winning FFC’s best Puskas Goal Award is… Olivier Giroud’s scorpion kick against Crystal Palace.

The Frenchman was involved in the scintillating build-up play leading up to the goal, flicking the ball with a Cruyff-esque pass to Granit Xhaka who continued to push the ball forward before it fell to Alexis Sanchez on the wide left.

The former Barcelona forward lofted a cross behind Giroud, who adapted extraordinarily with a scorpion kick, crossbar and in.

Sky Sports co-commentator Gary Neville described the goal perfectly as he watched it back: “This is frightening. Oh my gosh, what is that?”

And that’s the exact reaction many fans and viewers had around the world, as they marvelled at the finish in utter astonishment.

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