The Mastermind Award Nominees 2016: Goal of the Year

Payet Free Kicksaul-niguez

Hundreds of thousands of fantastic football goals have been scored in 2016 and for The Mastermind‘s money, these four are the very best of the bunch.

Dimitri Payet vs. Crystal Palace 

A week before this moment, Payet had scored a wonder goal in a friendly for France and so when he stepped up to take this one against Crystal Palace everyone was expecting something special. And something special is what we got. It’s pretty much impossible to strike a free kick like that, yet Payet somehow managed to do it. The goalkeeper was right there, but never had a chance. The flight of the ball is just unreal as the whole time it looks like it’s going over and then it dips off the bar and in at the last second. Brilliant goal.

Dimitri Payet vs. Middlesbrough ♥

Dimitri Payet has scored more than a few wonder goals in his time but never has he scored a solo goal quite like this. The ball in the first place from Winston Reid was superb, but the Frenchman’s first touch to take it away from the defender was absolutely sublime. Then with Barragan putting an immense amount of pressure on him, Payet turns him inside out, before making Gaston Ramirez fall to the ground with a faked cross. But as if that wasn’t enough he then fools Calum Chambers with a couple of stepovers, dupes George Friend with a faked shot and then squeezes the ball into the hole in a crowded area of three defenders and the goalkeeper. Any player who can dance his way through six defenders and then the goalkeeper, fooling every single one of them is a special, special player. This was the kind of goal you could watch over and over again and could end up being the Premier League goal of the season.

Saul Niguez vs. Bayern Munich

Atletico Madrid were never favourites to beat Bayern Munich in the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League semi-final but because of this incredible solo goal, Simeone’s side were given a 1-0 win in the first leg of their encounter, helping them to go on and advance to the next round. These are some of the best defenders in the world. Thiago Alcantara could not keep up with Saul’s skill and poise on the ball and had to let him go but then two defenders arrived immediately after and that should have been enough to stop the Spaniard but nope, with two incisive touches he sets himself free on goal. Then he takes it back on his left-foot, slows it all down, looks for the angle and places it so well that it goes off the post and in. Well done Saul Niguez!

Xherdan Shaqiri vs. Poland

After Payet’s incredible goal on opening day against Romania, Euro 2016 was just begging for another wonder goal and finally we got one in the form of a bicycle kick from Xherdan Shaqiri. He didn’t even really have time to think about what he was going to do before he leaped in the air to attempt the bicycle kick and the quality of the strike, the amount of power and accuracy he managed to get on it were incredible. It’s easy to hit a bicycle kick when you set it up for yourself but it’s terribly tricky when the ball comes back off the defender high in the air because not only do you have to watch the ball and wait for it to drop,  but you also have to get your legs set, leap up in the air and wait for the exact right moment to hit it. This was the best goal of Euro 2016 and a very special moment from Xherdan Shaqiri.


So where do I vote?! Voting is now open here -> VOTE: The Mastermind Awards 2016. Enjoy! And if you haven’t done so already, make sure to check out The Mastermind Award Nominees 2016 Page for all the details on who and what is up for every single award. Have fun! 🙂

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