ZURICH – Eric Hassli’s spectacular strike against Toronto FC in the Amway Canadian Championship is among the 10 finalists for FIFA’s Puskas award as goal of the year.
The former Vancouver forward lifted the Whitecaps to a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC on May 16 when he struck a full volley past a helpless Toronto ‘keeper Milos Kocic.
Hassli, 31, was traded to Toronto on July 20 for a first-round draft pick in 2014 and international slot.
Lionel Messi’s stunning solo strike in Argentina’s 4-3 win over Brazil in June is also among the 10 nominations, along with goals by Colombia striker Radamel Falcao, Brazil forward Neymar and France playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa.
The shortlist will be reduced to three on Nov. 29 following a public vote on the websites of FIFA and France Football magazine.
The winner of the FIFA Puskas Award, named after Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas, will be revealed on Jan. 7 at the Ballon d’Or gala in Zurich.
Neymar won the 2011 award and will look to retain the prize courtesy of his goal for Santos against Internacional on March 7, when he scored following a maze of dribbling from mid-field.