The football superstar Lionel Messi has recently won the Ballon d’Or, the award that arguably recognizes a player as the best in the world. Still, it doesn’t mean that he’s already the best in everything since he has yet to win the FIFA Puskás Award.
The FIFA Puskás Award is given to the player who managed to score the “most beautiful” goal of the year. Even though Lionel Messi is arguably the best player there is, it seems that he has yet to create an aesthetically pleasing goal.
If the Ballon d’Or is meant for the best football player, then the FIFA Puskás Award is for the player who can score the best looking goal.
Messi’s Puskás Achievements
Lionel Messi has never won the Puskás award before but has repeatedly been nominated for the award seven times now. Lionel Messi managed to create many important goals that warranted his nomination, but the award seems to elude him continuously.
Some fans say that he won’t win the award since he’ll get the best, the Ballon d’Or, anyway. Some people argue that most of Messi’s goals have been “tap-ins,” where he pokes them, ending up looking like a common goal that’s not worthy of a Puskás. However, Messi’s achievements are more on his goals’ build-up.
Messi is currently the most nominated person for the Puskás Award, which is an achievement in itself, but he might not be there yet.
Origin of the Puskás Award
The Puskás Award was a tribute for Ferenc Puskás, a former Real Madrid striker who’s is also regarded as one of the best football players of all time. Puskás managed to net the then-world record of 84 goals in 85 international games for Hungary, scoring 512 goals in 528 matches in both the Hungarian and Spanish leagues, become an Olympic champion in 1952, and guide his country to 1954 World Cup’s final.
Puskás died on November 17, 2006, due to pneumonia and is now remembered for his feats in football through the Puskás Award. Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter said during the award’s inauguration in 2009 that it is essential to preserve the memory of the past football greats.
“Puskás was not only a player with immense talent who won many honours, but also a remarkable man. FIFA is therefore delighted to pay tribute to him by dedicating this award to his memory,” Blatter said.
Right now, the award is meant for the player who’s able to score the most visually important goal in the year. The first football player who received the Puskás award is Cristiano Ronaldo in October 2009 after his iconic 40-yard strike in the Champions League against Porto. The most recent recipient of the award is Dániel Zsóri, a 19-year old who managed to use a long-range bicycle kick that he said he copied from his idol Ronaldo.
Significance of the Puskás Award
Getting the Ballon d’Or may still be a pipe dream for many average football players, but the Puskás Award might not be that far from a football player’s reach. Dániel Zsóri is proof that the FIFA Puskás is not reserved for superstars.
The FIFA Puskás Award is among the Best FIFA Football Awards, and to receive one of those awards is testament enough to a player’s skills. Zsóri always pictured himself scoring goals, but he never dreamt of getting the goal that won him the Puskás.
Since anyone can get nominated and potentially win the FIFA Puskás no matter the division, tournament, or league, as long as the player managed to create a beautiful and intentional goal, achieving the goal is far from being a pipe dream.
Anyone who either gets nominated or wins the award can have good morale as a result of the achievement. The nominee can get encouraged to further improve and play better in future games.
Lionel Messi is undoubtedly still the best football player today, as long as Ronaldo doesn’t catch up and tie with Messi once more for the Ballon d’Or. The FIFA Puskás is an award that requires the fulfillment of a particular criterion that Messi may not be able to achieve, but it in no way means that his credibility as the best is challenged.
A time might come when Messi wins the FIFA Puskás Award, and it will be the time when he scores the best goal he can, most likely better than the previous ones that allowed him to be nominated for the award.
Messi might not have won the Puskás, but he was awarded as the Best FIFA Men’s Player. Anyone who manages to win the Puskás or at least get nominated will undoubtedly be a player that’s worth looking out for.