A goal by Mexico's Antonio "Zinha" Naelson has been voted the best in FIFA Confederations Cup history by users of FIFA.com and the FIFA Channel on YouTube.
On 16 June 2005, Mexico opened their FIFA Confederations Cup Germany 2005 campaign against Japan. Ricardo La Volpe's side went into the competition as winners of the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but had yet to make a real mark on the world stage. Their opening test against the Asian champions offered the perfect chance to state their credentials.
The picture looked bleak for El Tricolor when Japan's Atsushi Yanasigawa opened the scoring in the 12th minute. A moment of magic from Mexico playmaker Antonio "Zinha" Naelson, however, would soon change the course of the game. After receiving a pass 30 yards from goal, Zinha looked up and smashed a brilliant swerving shot that dipped under the bar and into the far corner, beyond the helpless dive of Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi.
El Tri went on to win the match 2-1 and eventually finished the tournament an impressive fourth, with Zinha playing a starring role. His equaliser against Japan is among the best goals Mexico have scored, and, eight years on, it has just been voted the finest strike in FIFA Confederations Cup history.
From 13 May to 13 June, FIFA.com users took part in a poll entitled "13 goals for 2013" to decide the all-time greatest FIFA Confederations Cup goal. Zinha's marvellous strike came out on top with 43 per cent of the vote, beating efforts by Ronaldinho and Kaka, who came second and third respectively. Other illustrious names on the shortlist included Giuseppe Rossi, Pavel Nedved, Shunsuke Nakamura and Samuel Eto’o. You can see all 13 of the goals shortlisted for the award in the link on the right-hand side of the page.
At the age of 37, Zinha is still going strong for club side Deportivo Toluca, and still receives the occasional call-up from Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre. After hearing of his success, the midfielder spoke exclusively with FIFA.com and looked back on his memorable goal.
"The move started on the right with a combination between Salvador Carmona and Pavel Pardo," Zinha said. "Eventually they worked the ball over to me on the edge of the area, and I took barely one touch to control it before striking at goal. There are some goals that will always stay with me and my whole family, who are always looking out for me."
For Zinha, the recognition from users of FIFA.com and the FIFA Channel on YouTube is clearly a source of satisfaction and pride. "There's no doubt about it – it has made me very happy," beamed the Toluca midfielder. "I know there were goals by some really top-class players, so I'm very pleased that my effort was voted the all-time best in the Confederations Cup. I'm very happy, and I'd like to salute and thank everyone who voted for my goal."
"13 goals for 2013" is NOT an official FIFA prize. It is a poll conducted on FIFA.com, open to users of the site and users of the FIFA Channel on YouTube.