Zlatan Ibrahimovic has won the 2013 FIFA Puskás Award, with his audacious overhead kick against England voted by FIFA.com and francefootball.fr users as the pick of an outstanding shortlist.
The Swede’s incredible strike was one of several spectacular moments produced for club and country over recent seasons, and rounded off his hat-trick in a 4-2 friendly win in Stockholm. Even by Ibrahimovic’s standards, the scissors kick he sent flashing into the net from 30 yards, adjusting to meet a clearing header by Joe Hart, was something truly extraordinary. Few would have even attempted it, far less executed it to perfection, with the ball sent the ball looping beyond the despairing English defenders.
Steven Gerrard, England’s captain on the night, described it as "the best goal I've ever seen", and that admiration was shared by you, the FIFA.com and francefootball.fr users. You voted for Ibra’s strike in your thousands, enabling him to take this coveted prize ahead of Nemanja Matic and Neymar, who had also qualified for the final shortlist.
Matic took second place, with plenty of voters enamoured with his brilliantly struck left-foot volley at the end of an intricately crafted Benfica set piece. And the final place on the Puskás podium went to Neymar for the top-corner finish against Japan that set the tone for the Brazil star’s magnificent FIFA Confederations Cup.
There could only be one winner though, and Ibrahimovic becomes the latest person to lift an award previously collected by Miroslav Stoch (2012), Neymar (2011), Hamit Altintop (2010) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2009).