Lionel Messi: A Look at All 7 Occasions Argentine Was Nominated for Puskas Award

Lionel Messi: A Look at All 7 Occasions Argentine Was Nominated for Puskas Award

Rene Otinga
updated at March 29, 2024 at 11:55 AM
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  • Argentine maestro Lionel Messi has never won the Puskas award
  • It remains the one award Messi is yet to claim in his lucrative career
  • The Inter Miami forward has come close on seven occasions but fell short

It is mind-boggling to imagine Lionel Messi has never won the coveted Puskas Award in his glittery career.

The Inter Miami superstar, for all his brilliance in football, has somehow failed to clinch an award that is synonymous to some of the goals he has scored over the years.

Lionel Messi, Puskas award, Best goal, Cristiano Ronaldo, Agentina , Barcelona
Lionel Messi has been nominated for the Puskas Award a remarkable 7 times. Photo: Jasper Juinen/Fatih Aktas.
Source: Getty Images

Established on October 20, 2009, the Puskas Award is given to a player, male or female, deemed to have scored the most aesthetically pleasing goal in a calendar year.

Messi has had a number of those over the years, but unfortunately, none of them have been enough to win him a Puskas, despite a remarkable seven nominations, according to Sporting News.

Sports Brief now takes a look at each time Messi was nominated, and the type of goal he scored, as cited on Football Transfers.

1. Messi vs Valencia, 2010

On March 14, 2010, Messi scored a splendid hat trick against Valencia in the La Liga. His best goal of the bunch was his third, which saw him weave through defenders before finding space in the box and wrong-footing the goalkeeper.

Many fans argue that this was the period the Argentine was at the peak of his powers.

His goal was fifth in the list of best goals that year.

2. Messi vs Arsenal, 2011

A year later Messi was at it again, this time, making light of the Arsenal defence.

In the Champions League, a young Messi faced Arsenal at the Nou Camp and gave his side a 1-0 lead towards the end of the first half.

He benefited from some quick thinking from Andreas Iniesta, who split the defence with a pass, and Messi expertly dinked the ball over the goalkeeper before finishing the move with a volley.

That goal was beaten for the Puskas Award by Neymar’s wonder goal when the Brazilian was still at Santos.

3. Messi vs Brazil 2012

Reminiscent of the great Diego Maradona, Messi scored an inch-perfect goal against Brazil in an international friendly in New Jersey.

In typical Messi fashion, he went on a marauding run down the right side , leaving defenders in his wake, before curling a powerful strike past the goalkeeper from the edge of the area.

Unfortunately for Messi, Fenerbahce’s Miroslav Stoch also scored a wonder goal which won the Puskas that year.

4. Messi vs Athletic Bilbao 2015

It would be three years before Messi was in the Puskas Award nominees list again.

He scored one of his most iconic goals against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final by weaving through defenders from the right before creating space for himself in the box and hitting a shot that wrong-footed the goalkeeper.

That year, the Puskas award went to Brazilian player Elias, who scored in the Campeonato Golano.

5. Messi vs USA, 2016

This was the first Puskas-nominated free kick in the history of the awards.

The Argentine got a free kick from a fair distance out during the Copa America semi-finals and despite having a wall of bodies in front of him, he somehow picked his spot perfectly past the goalkeeper in his near post.

That goal was beaten to the award by Faiz Mazlan’s goal in the Malaysian Super League.

6. Messi vs Nigeria 2018

During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Messi made headlines for his sublime goal against Nigeria in the group stage.

Argentine came under immense pressure to perform in the tournament, and their talisman Messi gave them the lead in the 14th minute.

Messi received a ball over the top and expertly controlled it before hitting a powerful shot with his weaker right foot.

Unfortunately, his strike was beaten to the Puskas Award by Mohamed Salah’s goal in the Champions League that same year.

7. Messi vs Real Betis, 2019

In 2019, Messi, who was part of a much-changed Barcelona team, scored a beautiful goal against Real Betis in Barca’s 4-1 win.

The Argentine showed impressive awareness to chip the goalkeeper from the edge of the box after receiving a first-time pass despite having a sea of bodies in front of him.

Messi on his future plans

Sports Brief also reported on Lionel Messi’s future plans as the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner enters the twilight years of his career.

He recently ended his European adventure months after winning the Mundial, leaving Paris Saint-Germain after his two-year contract expired to join Inter Miami in the United States.

In a podcast, Messi admitted he would love to return to Barcelona as a sporting director.

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Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and