Lisa De Vanna becomes first Australian nominated for FIFA’s goal of the year award
Matildas striker Lisa De Vanna is the first Australian to be nominated for FIFA’s goal of the year, making the 10-goal shortlist with a stunning overhead strike.
But the brilliant goal that earned De Vanna the nomination for the Puskas Award nearly did not happen.
De Vanna – back in Australia to play for Melbourne Victory in the W-League – scored the stunner playing for US professional side Sky Blue FC and said she just was hoping not to look like an idiot.
“I thought I’m going to run into space, but I didn’t expect (team-mate Katy Freels) to flick the ball up as she did,” De Vanna said.
“I ran past it and I actually thought, you know what, I’m going to swing my boot at this.
“I better make sure I get some sort of connection or I’ll look like an idiot.
“In the air – it felt like the longest second of my life.
“Then as I landed, I looked up at one of my team-mates, saw her reaction and it was a million dollars.”
The nomination puts De Vanna, 28, in elite company alongside Barcelona forward Neymar and Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
She found out when her sister told her she was “nominated for some FIFA thing” but is trying to keep her feet on the ground about the prospect of winning the gong.
“I’ve got to be a little bit realistic here, I’m not Zlatan with millions of followers,” she said.
“But if I could make the top three, it’d be a big dream.”
De Vanna is the first Australian to be nominated for the award and only the third female.
It’s not her first commendation from the world football body – in 2007 she was nominated for world player of the year and placed in FIFA’s Women’s World Cup All Star team.
Online voting until December 9 will decide a short list of three finalists, with the winner to be announced on January 13 at a gala event in Zurich.
Vote here: http://www.fifa.com/ballondor/puskasaward/video=2220181/index.html