JUST IN: Messi, Ibrahimovic & Townsend among the nominees for Puskas Award

Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Andros Townsend have been named among the 10 nominees for the prestigious 2019 Puskas Award.

FIFA has revealed its shortlist of the goals considered to have been the best over the course of the last 12 months.

There are some big names and stunning strikes among the runners and riders.

Barcelona superstar Messi makes the grade for a clever chip during a meeting with Real Betis.

Ibrahimovic, who has starred for the LA Galaxy since moving to MLS, is recognised for the improvisation and quick-thinking he displayed in netting a spinning effort against Toronto FC.

Townsend, meanwhile, illuminated a Premier League meeting between Crystal Palace and Manchester City with a spectacular drive from distance.

Prolific Sampdoria frontman Fabio Quagliarella is another who displayed lightning-fast reflexes to flick a low cross through his own legs and into the bottom corner.

Elsewhere, Matheus Cunha spun and dinked his way into consideration when turning out for RB Leipzig against Bayer Leverkusen.

The Puskas prize is a rarity in that it is one prize yet to be collected by Messi.

His eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed it once before, but the mercurial Argentine has never topped the vote – with second in 2015 as close as he has come.

Ibrahimovic has emerged victorious in the past, back in 2013 for his remarkable overhead effort for Sweden in a friendly date with England.

The current holder of the award is Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who saw a derby strike against Everton top the charts in 2018.

The Best FIFA Awards for 2019 are set to be held in Milan on September 23.

CREDIT: GOAL 

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