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Neymar leads goal of year contenders

November 14, 2012
By ESPN staff

Flamboyant Brazil striker Neymar is in line to retain FIFA's Puskas Award for the best goal of the year.

Neymar Santos close-up
PA PhotosNeymar: Aiming to retain Puskas Award

The 20-year-old's superb solo effort for Santos against Internacional in March where he collected the ball in his own half and beat three players before scoring, means he leads the 10-man shortlist.

Neymar faces strong competition though, none more formidable than Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who features for the third straight year for his stunning strike against South American rivals Brazil.

Atletico Madrid's Colombian striker Radamel Falcao is nominated for his acrobatic scissor kick in a friendly with America de Cali while Newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa is shortlisted for his mazy run and finish against Blackburn in the FA Cup.

That list of ten will be whittled down to three after a first round of public voting on FIFA's website concludes on November 29. The gong, in honour of Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas, will be awarded on January 7.

The full list of Puskas Award nominees:

Agyemang Badu - for Ghana against Guinea, February 1

Hatem Ben Arfa - for Newcastle against Blackburn, January 7

Radamel Falcao - for Atletico Madrid v America de Cali, May 19

Eric Hassli - for Vancouver Whitecaps v Toronto FC, May 16

Olivia Jimenez - for Mexico v Switzerland, August 22

Gaston Mealla - for Nacional Potosi v The Strongest, January 29

Lionel Messi - for Argentina v Brazil, June 9

Neymar - for Santos v Internacional, March 7

Moussa Sow - for Fenerbahce v Galatasaray, March 17

Miroslav Stoch - for Fenerbahce v Genclerbirligi, March 3

Information from the Press Association was used in this report