FIFA to give award for ‘most beautiful goal’

FIFA has established a new award named after Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas to honor the player judged to have scored the goal of the year.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said the annual award will be presented for the first time during the FIFA world player of the year gala on Dec. 21 in Switzerland.

“It is important to preserve the memory of the footballing greats who left their mark on history,” Blatter said Tuesday during a visit to the Ferenc Puskas Football Academy in Felcsut, a town about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Budapest.

Puskas left Hungary in the wake of the 1956 anti-Soviet revolution and went on to have a successful stint with Real Madrid.

He starred in two of the most famous games in football history – scoring twice in Hungary’s stunning 6-3 upset over England at Wembley Stadium in 1953, and scoring four goals in Madrid’s 7-3 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the 1960 European Cup final.

Puskas’ widow, Erzsebet, attended the announcement ceremony, but was overcome by emotion and could only briefly thank Blatter and those responsible for the new award.

Both male and female players will be eligible to win the prize for the “most beautiful goal of the year.”

FIFA said the importance of matches in which goals are scored would be taken into account, and that the goal could not be the result of luck or a mistake by the other team. Goals scored between June 2008 and July 2009 will be eligible for the initial award.