Puskas Award 2021: Erik Lamela named as finalist for prize after Tottenham rabona against Arsenal

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Puskas Award 2021: Erik Lamela named as finalist for prize after Tottenham rabona against Arsenal
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Former Tottenham winger Erik Lamela has been named as a Fifa Puskas Award finalist for 2021 following his audacious goal against Arsenal in the north London derby last season.

The Argentine - who left Spurs for LaLiga outfit Sevilla in July - won Premier League goal of the season honours for the 2020/21 campaign after netting with a stunning rabona effort at the Emirates on March 14.

Lamela’s incredible strike gave Spurs the lead on enemy territory, but they eventually lost the match 2-1 and saw their goalscorer sent off in the second half.

“It has a different feeling to do it in the derby,” Lamela told Spurs’ website at the time.

“These games are completely different to other ones and it’s a very, very special goal.

“I dream a lot about goals like that, especially in a derby, but it was in one second that I decided to shoot like that.”

Lamela is joined on the three-strong Puskas Award final shortlist by Bayer Leverkusen striker Patrik Schick, who scored from the halfway line during the Czech Republic’s 2-0 Euro 2020 Group D win over Scotland at Hampden Park in June.

Also in the running is Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi, who was nominated for his brilliant bicycle kick against Chelsea in the Champions League - an effort that won Uefa’s 2020/21 Goal of the Season award.

Erik Lamela’s brilliant rabona goal against Arsenal could win the Fifa Puskas Award for 2021 (Getty Images)
Erik Lamela’s brilliant rabona goal against Arsenal could win the Fifa Puskas Award for 2021 (Getty Images)

The Puskas Award, established by Fifa in 2009, is an annual honour given to the player “judged to have scored the most aesthetically significant goal, regardless of championship, gender or nationality and scored without the result of luck or a mistake and in support of fair play.”

An expert panel draws up an initial 11-goal shortlist - which this year also included strikes from Manchester City pair Caroline Weir and Riyad Mahrez - before it is whittled down and the winner is chosen by a panel of Fifa Legends and fans registered on FIFA.com, announced at the Fifa Best Football Awards.

This year, the ceremony takes place on January 22 in Zurich, Switzerland.

In 2020, the Puskas Award was won by Tottenham’s Heung-min Son for his wonder goal against Burnley.

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