Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud wins FIFA Puskas Award thanks to ‘scorpion goal’
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has won the FIFA Puskas Award for goal of the year.
Giroud’s stunning ‘scorpion-kick’ scored against Crystal Palace in January beat off competition from Venezuela’s Deyna Castellanos and South African goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke.
The Frenchman’s effort, a flicked volley with his left foot that flew in off the crossbar, was announced as the winner at a ceremony held at the London Palladium on Monday.
The event was attended by a host of football stars past and present, including Diego Maradona, Ronaldo, Frank Lampard, Sergio Ramos and Harry Kane, with winners decided by a jury of club and international coaches, media representatives and fans.
On accepting his award, Giroud said: “First of all I have to say it’s an honour for me.
“I’m delighted to receive this trophy today in front of legends of football. Now l’d just like to thank the people who voted for me. I would like to congratulate the 10 nominees who scored amazing goals too.
“Obviously I would like to thank my team-mates, without them I couldn’t score maybe this goal, and my family.”
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was shortlisted for men’s coach of the year but the Italian, who lifted the Premier League title in his first season in England, lost out to Zinedine Zidane.
Zidane became the first ever coach to win back-to-back Champions League titles as Real Madrid beat Juventus in the final in May. He also led Los Blancos to their first La Liga title in five years. Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri was also shortlisted.
The Italian club boasted their own winner in London, however, as their goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon won the best goalkeeper prize.
Buffon guided Juve to a sixth consecutive Serie A title and managed 600 Champions League minutes without conceding a goal.
The 39-year-old held off competition from fellow nominees Keylor Navas of Real Madrid and Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich.
“I am very happy, for me it is a great honour to receive this award at my age,” Buffon said.
“I think the last year has been a fantastic season for Juventus and for me personally. It wasn’t enough to win in Europe and for this year I hope that we can play better and with the national team and Juventus.”