Giroud, Masuluke and Castellanos named 2017 Puskás award finalists

International Edition By: Ambrose Udeme | 09/10/2017

2017 FIFA Puskas Award, Deyna Castellanos, Olivier Giroud, Oscarine Masuluke

Strikes by Deyna Castellanos, Olivier Giroud and Oscarine Masuluke have been voted by hundreds of thousands of fans across the world as their top three from the initial shortlist of ten for the 2017 FIFA Puskás Award as confirmed by FIFA on it official website.

After the first round of voting concluded earlier on Monday 9 October, a new second phase has now begun. The total from each round of voting will be added together to decide the winner, who will be crowned at the awards ceremony later this month.

Voting will remain open until the day of the awards ceremony itself, on Monday 23 October, with the winner of the fan vote receiving their award on stage at the historic London Palladium.

Olivier Giroud is the first Frenchman to reach the final three, becoming the lucky number seven of his compatriots to be nominated. The Arsenal forward was shortlisted for his perfectly-executed, and wonderfully audacious, ‘scorpion kick’ goal against Crystal Palace in the English Premier League.

Oscarine Masuluke is not only the first of his nation to reach the Puskás Award top three, but the first player from his continent to be named a finalist. Even more remarkably, the South African is also the first goalkeeper to reach the final trio, with his incredible last-minute bicycle kick equaliser for Baroka FC against Orlando Pirates understandably capturing the imagination of fans across the world.

Deyna Castellanos is the second Venezuelan teen in successive years to reach the final three, following in the footsteps of countrywoman Daniuska Rodriguez who was voted into the top trio last year. Castellanos, also a finalist for The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2017, was nominated for her extraordinary effort from the halfway line against Cameroon at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016.