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FIFA Puskas Award 2015: Goal of the Year Nominees and Videos

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 30, 2015

FILE - In this Saturday, May 30, 2015 file photo, Barcelona's Lionel Messi, centre,  celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the final of the Copa del Rey soccer match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain. Carli Lloyd and Lionel Messi are among the nominees for the FIFA Puskas Award for goal of the year. Lloyd scored for the United States from 50 yards against Japan in the Women’s World Cup final. Messi beat four defenders before scoring Barcelona’s first goal against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

FIFA revealed the three-man shortlist for this year's Puskas Award on Monday, with goals from four-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi, Roma's Alessandro Florenzi and Brazilian Wendell Lira all still in the running.

The 2015 award will be announced at the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala in Zurich on January 11, 2016. FIFA confirmed the final three nominees on its official Twitter account:

The three entries showcase a terrific variety, ranging from Messi's technical brilliance to Florenzi's display of vision and Lira's moment of athleticism.

The official Barcelona Twitter account was proud to showcase Messi's entry, which was scored against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final, where his lightning-quick feet were at their twinkling best:

The effort was so inspiring, in fact, that it spawned a flip-book creation of the strike that's almost as mesmerising as the genuine article:

Messi was actually present to witness Florenzi's long-range shortlist entry, scored at the Stadio Olimpico in September, when Roma and Barcelona ran to a 1-1 draw in their first Champions League tie of the season.

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The Roma right-back hugged the right touchline before unleashing a preposterously accurate strike over Marc-Andre ter Stegen, with no questions over whether the Italy international intended to shoot for goal:

Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated pointed out that another long-range finish, that of United States midfielder Carli Lloyd in this year's Women's World Cup final, didn't make the cut:

Those efforts took slightly more buildup, but one touch was all Vila Nova striker Lira needed to register his candidacy for the Puskas Award.

During his time at Brazilian outfit Goianesia, the 26-year-old thundered home the most convincing bicycle kick one's likely to see this year during a 2-1 win over Atletico Goianiense:

The three goals cater to a diverse audience depending on what one feels the criteria is for a truly great finish, but one can rest assured all entrants have their stake to claim in the debate.

You can vote for which goal you think should win the 2015 Puskas Award on the official FIFA website.

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