Fifa Puskas Award nominees for best goal of 2022 revealed including Balotelli’s rabona and Russo’s sensational backheel

    MARIO BALOTELLI and Lioness hero Alessia Russo headline the list of Fifa Puskas Award nominees.

    The gong is handed out annually to the scorer of the year’s best goal.

    Erik Lamela is the Puskas Award's reigning victor

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    Erik Lamela is the Puskas Award’s reigning victorCredit: PA

    Its current holder is former Tottenham ace Erik Lamela for his sensational rabona against Arsenal during the 2020-21 season.

    Prem stars have dominated the award in recent years, with Son Heung-min, Mo Salah and Olivier Giroud all winning it while playing in England.

    SunSport takes a look at who is in the mix to win this year’s edition.

    MARIO BALOTELLI

    Former Manchester City and Liverpool star is now playing for Adana Demirspor in Turkey.

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    He netted five times in a 7-0 win over Goztepe last season, with his fifth a sensational rabona following a series of dazzling stepovers.

    Balotelli, 32, scored 18 goals in the Turkish top flight last term.

    Super Mario bagged an amazing rabona while playing in Turkey

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    Super Mario bagged an amazing rabona while playing in Turkey

    AMANDINE HENRY

    French midfield dynamo scored a remarkable goal on her way to winning last season’s Champions League with Lyon.

    Henry, 33, went into a crunching tackle, winning the ball high up the pitch.

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    She then unleashed an unstoppable effort from range into the top corner, her side beating Barcelona 3-1 to lift the trophy.

    Amandine Henry let fly from miles out

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    Amandine Henry let fly from miles outCredit: FIFA

    THEO HERNANDEZ

    AC Milan star scored a sensational solo goal against Atalanta last season.

    The Frenchman picked up the ball deep in his own half and embarked on an amazing run.

    He slalomed his way through plenty of challenges into Atalanta’s box before falling into a remarkable finish.

    Theo Hernandez provided a clinical finish after a great run

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    Theo Hernandez provided a clinical finish after a great runCredit: FIFA

    ALOU KUOL

    Aussie forward netted an outrageous scorpion kick while playing for his country’s Under-23s against Iraq.

    A cross was delivered from the right a little behind Kuol, but the Stuttgart forward miraculously contorted his body to somehow divert the ball goalwards.

    His brother Garang is a good player too, and signed for Newcastle in January.

    Alou Kuol executed a perfect scorpion kick

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    Alou Kuol executed a perfect scorpion kickCredit: FIFA

    KYLIAN MBAPPE

    The most high profile of the nominees was Kylian Mbappe’s sensational equaliser in the World Cup final against Argentina.

    Having netted a penalty to pull his side back to 2-1 moments earlier, Mbappe one-two’d with Marcus Thuram before unleashing a beautifully controlled shot beyond Emi Martinez.

    The France talisman went on to equalise again from the spot in extra time, before his side succumbed on penalties.

    Kylian Mbappe conjured a sensational World Cup final equaliser

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    Kylian Mbappe conjured a sensational World Cup final equaliserCredit: Alamy

    FRANCISCO GONZALEZ METILLI

    Argentine star bagged arguably the best volley on this list.

    Playing for Central Cordoba against Rosario Central, Gonzalez Metilli carefully watched the ball as it was floated towards him.

    The 25-year-old unleashed an amazing left-footed strike over the flailing keeper and into the top corner.

    Francisco Gonzelez Metilli unleashes a sensational volley

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    Francisco Gonzelez Metilli unleashes a sensational volley

    MARCIN OLEKSY

    Polish amputee Marcin Oleksy wowed fans worldwide with his gravity defying bicycle kick.

    Oleksy sent his team-mates wild by swivelling with his crutches to produce an acrobatic finish.

    The Pole has great pedigree, having represented his country at the Amputee World Cup.

    Marcin Oleksy produced incredible athleticism

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    Marcin Oleksy produced incredible athleticismCredit: FIFA

    SALMA PARALLUELO

    Spanish teenager announced herself on the global stage by scoring a sensational effort against Barcelona last term.

    The winger cut inside before perfectly curling an incredible strike into the top corner.

    Barca clearly took notice, signing Paralluelo just a few months later.

    Salma Paralluelo curled a remarkable shot into the top corner

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    Salma Paralluelo curled a remarkable shot into the top cornerCredit: FIFA

    DIMITRI PAYET

    Former West Ham star lit up the Europa Conference League for Marseille last season.

    During his side’s quarter-final with PAOK, a corner was chipped out to the Frenchman on the edge of the box.

    Taking the ball on the half volley, Payet smacked the cleanest of strikes right into the top corner, leaving team-mates with hands on their heads in disbelief.

    Dimitri Payet produced a sensational strike against PAOK

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    Dimitri Payet produced a sensational strike against PAOKCredit: FIFA

    RICHARLISON

    Tottenham star bagged the World Cup goal of the tournament gong for his amazing bicycle kick against Serbia for Brazil.

    The forward controlled Vinicius Jr’s cross, before swivelling in one motion to fire an incredible volley into the back of the net.

    He bagged twice in the match to hand his side a 2-0 win.

    Richarlison bagged the World Cup's goal of the tournament

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    Richarlison bagged the World Cup’s goal of the tournamentCredit: PA

    ALESSIA RUSSO

    Lioness star Alessia Russo all but sealed her side’s place in the Euro 2022 final in spectacular fashion.

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    Having played the role of super-sub perfectly throughout the tournament, Russo did so once again in the semi-final against Sweden.

    Collecting the rebound from her own shot, the Manchester United forward improvised superbly by back-heeling beyond the helpless goalkeeper to send her side into dreamland.

    Alessia Russo produces a brilliant back-heel

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    Alessia Russo produces a brilliant back-heelCredit: Rex

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