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Ibrahimovic, Messi, others make Puskas Award shortlist

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FIFA on Monday announced its shortlist for this year’s Puskas Award.

Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend and Brazilian Matheus Cunha, who plays as a winger for Bundesliga club RB Leipzig will vie with Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Townsend’s stunning volley against Manchester City at the Etihad last term is one of the 10 contenders announced by world football’s governing body.

Townsend’s effort was the Premier League goal of the season in 2018-19, as awarded by Match of the Day.

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The Cameroonian Anjara Njoya who plays for Norwegian club Vålerenga will also battle Zlatan and Messi courtesy of her strike against Avaldsnes in a 2-2 draw.

Njoya dribbled past three defenders before firing her effort to the top corner of the net. The goal was adjudged the best goal in the Norwegian top-flight and now on FIFA Puska list.

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Barcelona superstar Messi registered his name on the list with his stunning chip against Real Betis in La Liga back in March.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s acrobatic volley for LA Galaxy against Toronto last September is also included, as is a remarkable mid-air backheel by Sampdoria’s Fabio Quagliarella, similarly notched last September.

Liverpool’s Mo Salah won the award last year for his virtuoso goal against Everton in the Premier League.

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The list released by FIFA for this year’s Puskas Award contained the following names:

Matheus Cunha

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Lionel Messi

Ajara Njoya

Fabio Quagliarella

Juan Fernando Quintero

Amy Rodriguez

Andros Townsend

Daniel Zsori

Billie Simpson.

However, voting is open until 1 September.

Public votes will decide the top three, while FIFA Legends will decide the #Puskas Award winner.

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Mexico’s third tier club, Coyotes Tlaxcala, ‘court’ Cristiano Ronaldo

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Cristiano Ronaldo has been told how “handsome” he would look in the kit of a Mexican third tier side.

Coyotes Tlaxcala made the flirty transfer approach to the Juventus star on Twitter amid rumours over his future.

The team based in the state of Tlaxcala – just east of Mexico City – mocked up a picture of Ronaldo in their red camo style kit accompanied by a witty caption.

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They wrote:

“Did you see how handsome you would look with the Coyotes, my commander @Cristiano Ronaldo?

“But, you strawberries, tell Juventus to answer the phone to us.”

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Barca reject RB Leipzig, Gladbach offers for Ilaix Moriba

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Barcelona have turned down Borussia Monchengladbach and RB Leipzig’s approaches for highly-rated 17-year-old midfielder, Ilaix Moriba.

According to AS Sport, the German outfits wanted to take him on loan, but Barca are not interested in letting him go.

Ilaix Moriba is one of the most promising young people in Europe. Despite being a first-year youth, the midfielder has already established himself in the midfield of Garcia Pimienta’s Barça B and in the U-17 team.

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Sports director Eric Abidal is very confident in the progression of the midfielder and wants him to be the leader of Barça B next season.

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Man City goalkeeper, Claudio Bravo, set to join Real Betis

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Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo is set to join La Liga side Real Betis, according to reports.

Bravo was one of Manchester City’s first signings for Pep Guardiola and the Chilean quickly replaced Joe Hart as the first-choice goalkeeper.

Brazilian international Ederson has emerged as the new number one, though Bravo managed 17 appearances last season.

MORE READING!  Mexico's third tier club, Coyotes Tlaxcala, 'court' Cristiano Ronaldo

The 37-year-old is wanted by new Real Betis manager Manuel Pellegrini, with Goal.com reporting that the ‘keeper is willing to take a paycut to facilitate a move.

Bravo is best known for his time in Spain as Barcelona’s goalkeeper when he shared duties with Marc-Andre ter Stegen before being forced into the reserve role.

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The Chilean was also linked with moves to Arsenal, Celtic, Galatasaray and City-affiliated group New York City FC.

Bravo will remain with the club until the conclusion of their Champions League involvement, with the side due to play Lyon in Lisbon as part of UEFA’s mini end-of-season tournament.

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