FIFA Puskas Award: A list of all the past winners till now

FIFA Puskas Award: A list of all the past winners till now

Lenah Ann
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:16 PM

Well!Well!Well! Let us all first come to an agreement that all goals are incredibly equal. However, there are some undeniable epic moments on the goalposts that deserve a toss in the air, and those goals eventually win the FIFA Puskas Award.

Puskas Award
FIFA Puskas Award: A list of all the past winners till now. Photo: Thomas Barwick (Modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

And while the award was named after the legendary Hungarian forward, Ferenc Puskas, he was known for being a great goalscorer and a professional one who held a record of 512 strikes in 528 games attests. It must have been a huge deal.

Why is it called the Puskas Award?

It is an award established on 20 October 2009 by the Federation Internationale de Football Association, FIFA, at the behest of then-president Sepp Blatter, to be awarded to the player judged to have scored the most aesthetically significant goal of the calendar year.

It was named after Ferenc Puskas, the renowned striker of Real Madrid during the late 1950s and the 1960s and a central member of the highly successful Hungarian side of the same era. Ferenc was widely considered by many to be the most powerful and prolific forward European football produced in first-division football.

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All winners who won the Puskas Award

According to the criterion set by FIFA, a Puskas Award-winning strike ought to be an incredible goal, scored in a match of importance but not as a result of luck but in a manner that supports a play. As per recent data analysis, here are some legendary soccer players who have won the Puskas Award.

Judging the beauty of a goal is often subjective, but the Puskas Award is awarded to the most visually significant goal. It is not awarded to a goal scored through a fluke, mistake, or deflection, but a goal of the season.

10. Cristiano Ronaldo - 2009

why is it called Puskas Award
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United in action during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match against FC Porto on 15 April 2009 in Porto, Portugal. Photo: Shaun Botterill
Source: Getty Images
  • The game: Manchester United 1-0 FC Porto
  • Date: 15 April 2009

The Champions League holders Manchester United approached their quarter-final second-leg match against Porto in danger of being eliminated, having drawn 2-2 in the first leg at Old Trafford.

However, Cristiano Ronaldo jeered throughout due to his Sporting Lisbon connections but had other ideas, smashing the ball past a helpless Helton from around 40-yards out. The legendary soccer player repeated the trick in the semi-final victory over Arsenal, only this time it was a free-kick.

9. Hamit Altintop - 2010

All winners who won the Puskas Award
Hamit Altintop runs with the ball during the Franz Beckenbauer Farewell match against Real Madrid at Allianz Arena on 13 August 2010 in Munich, Germany. Photo: Sandra Behne
Source: Getty Images
  • The game: Turkey 3-0 Kazakhstan
  • Date: 3 September 2010

On paper, Hamit's visit to Kazakhstan in the opening round of Euro 2012 qualifying fixtures could have looked more enticing. Still, the one event in Astana Arena was replayed across Europe soon after the final whistle was sounded.

That corner kick on the left was swung away from the goal to the far edge of the box, where player Hamit Altintop was lurking and ready to hammer the ball into the top corner. Jose Mourinho must have taken heed of that wonder goal.

8. Neymar - 2011

All winners who won the Puskas Award
Neymar of Santos vies for the ball with Leo Moura of Flamengo during their Brazilian Championship football match. Photo: Evaristo Sa
Source: Getty Images
  • The game: Santos 4-5 Flamengo
  • Date: 27 July 2011

Of course, Neymar deserves a spot on this list. At 19, the soccer star had already lived rent-free in his fans' minds. Even though Ronaldinho of Flamengo had earlier scored a hat-trick in the game, his contribution to that day's success was not as defining as the Brazilian soccer star Neymar.

7. Miroslav Stoch - 2012

Puskas Award all-time winners
Miroslav Stoch of Fenerbahce vies for the ball during Ziraat Turkish Cup Group C match against Genclerbirligi at the 19 May stadium in Ankara, Turkey on 18 January 2017. Photo: Guven Yilmaz
Source: Getty Images
  • The game: Fenerbahce 6-1 Genclerbirligi
  • Date: 3 March 2012

Miroslav is among those players who had already begun flourishing in their teenage years. In fact, he was one of the most sought-after youngsters in European football.

Although the Slovakian's reputation had dipped following his departure from Stamford Bridge, his rasping Altintop-esque during a match against Genclerbirligi showed why he was worth the sign with the Blues.

6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic - 2012

Puskas Award all-time winners
Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden with the ball during the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match against England at The Olympic Stadium on 15 June 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine. Photo: Christopher Lee
Source: Getty Images
  • The game: Sweden 4-2 England
  • Date: 14 November 2012

If there is a discussion about players that fans longed for on the pitch in the 2010s, Zlatan will top the list. He had already secured a hat-trick courtesy of a predatory toe-poked finish, an emphatic close-range volley and a low skidding free-kick from 35-yards out.

And while this seemed like his best, his fans were yet to more. Because during the match against England, Zlatan shocked them.

5. James Rodriguez - 2014

Puskas Award all-time winners
James Rodriguez of Colombia controls the ball during a match against Uruguay on 13 November 2020 in Barranquilla, Colombia. Photo: Gabriel Aponte
Source: Getty Images
  • The game: Colombia 2-0 Uruguay
  • Date: 28 June 2014

After the Colombian attacking midfielder landed the Golden Boot in Brazil following his five consecutive goals, his volleyed opening goal during the 2014 World Cup was described as the greatest goal the World Cup has ever seen by opposing manager Oscar Tabarez.

Following his performance in the match against Uruguay, Rodriguez was named by FIFA as the man of the match for the third time in four matches.

4. Wendell Lira - 2015

  • The game: Goianesia 2-1 Atletico Goianiense
  • Date: 12 March 2015

From 2009-2014, most high-prolific players held the Puskas Award, but that changed in 2015 when the little-known Brazilian forward Wendell Lira pipped the great Lionel Messi to the trophy.

To date, his award-winning strike proved to be his last professional match as he later announced his early retirement from the game to some persistent injuries.

3. Olivier Giroud - 2017

why is it called Puskas Award
Olivier Giroud of Arsenal celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace on 1 January 2017 in London, England. Photo: Shaun Botterill
Source: Getty Images
  • The game: Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace
  • Date: 1 January 2017

Olivier Jonathan Giroud, a French-based professional striker, is said to be one of the most underrated strikers in the world today. On 1 January 2017, Olivier scored a scorpion kick in a 2-0 win against Crystal palace.

The goal impressed many people, including Arsene Wenger, who described him as the greatest he had seen at the Emirates Stadium.

2. Mohamed Salah - 2017

who won the Puskas Award 2021
Mohamed Salah of Liverpool in action during the Premier League match against Everton at Anfield on 10 December 2017 in Liverpool, England. Photo: Clive Brunskill
Source: Getty Images
  • The game: Liverpool 1-1 Everton
  • Date: 10 December 2017

What is a list of Puskas Award all-time winners without Mo Salah? The football player won the Premier League Golden Boot in his debut season for Liverpool, the Champions League in his second season, and the Premier League in his third season. Therefore, the fact that he even appears on this list is more justice to him.

1. Daniel Zsori - 2019

All winners who won the Puskas Award
Daniel Zsori of DVSC during the Hungarian OTP Bank Liga match at Groupama Arena on 11 May 2019 in Budapest, Hungary. Photo: Laszlo Szirtesi
Source: Getty Images
  • The game: Debrecen 2-1 Ferencvaros
  • Date: 16 February 2019

Daniel Zsori is an up-and-coming Romanian-born Hungarian professional soccer player whose fame skyrocketed after leaping off the ground, pinwheeling his legs, and almost in a slow-motion move, projecting the most beautiful bicycle kick that won him the Puskas Award.

Who won the Puskas Award in 2021?

Erik Manuel Lamela Cordero - 2021

  • The game: Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Chelsea
  • Date: On 14 March 2021
who won the Puskas Award 2021
Erik Lamela of Tottenham Hotspur during the Carabao Cup fourth round match against Chelsea at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 29 September 2020 in London, England. Photo: Visionhaus
Source: Getty Images

Lamela is an Argentine-based professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for La Liga club Sevilla and the Argentina national team. He won the Puskas Award 2021 after scoring a hat-trick against Chelsea.

Has Messi ever won the Puskas Award?

Lionel Messi has won just about every individual award, but remarkably he has never won the FIFA Puskas Award. However, since the award was introduced in 2009, the player has been nominated seven times without any success.

Even though the FIFA Puskas Award is often given to a player following their aesthetically significant goal, the fact remains that all goals are remarkably important and worth an award.

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There are different positions that midfielders can play. They act as links between the defence and attack. They can also play in central, defensive, attacking or the flanks. So, who is the best midfielder in the world in 2022? Click the link above and find more information.

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Lenah Ann
Lenah Ann is a Kenyan-based content creator with 2 years of experience. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Media and Communication from Dedan Kimathi, Kenya in 2021.