Riley McGree's 'scorpion kick' goal nominated for 2018 FIFA Puskas Award

Riley McGree has been nominated for the 2018 FIFA Puskas Award for his ‘scorpion kick’ goal in the 2018 Hyundai A-League Semi Final.

The 19-year-old’s incredible backheel effort, which went viral around the world, will be judged against nine other strikes for the honour of the most beautiful goal of the year.


McGree’s stunning goal will vie with Champions League overhead kicks from Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, and dazzling efforts from Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah.

However, the Melbourne City midfielder’s goal is eerily similar to Olivier Giroud’s scorpion kick against Crystal Palace, which won the 2017 FIFA Puskas Award.

You can vote to determine the winner of the 2018 award (for the period 3 July 2017 to 15 July 2018), who will be revealed at The Best FIFA Football Awards show in London on 24 September.

Click here to read about the criteria and history of the Puskas Award.



Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel says he thinks McGree's goal should win the honour over Ronaldo, Bale and the seven other contenders.

Ronaldo scored an overhead kick goal for Real Madrid against his new side Juventus on Los Blancos' run to the 2018 Champions League final.

That's where his then-teammate Bale pulled off his own overhead effort to help his team lift their third-straight crown in Europe's premier club competition.

But Schmeichel says the Australian's goal would win his vote.

"If I was voting, I wouldn't vote them [Ronaldo or Bale]. I really love Riley McGree's goal. That is extraordinary that,"  Schmeichel told the panel at the Best FIFA Football Awards finalists announcement.

"Just thinking about doing that; the ball is behind you, and flicking it with your heel. You see the goalkeeper stranded in the middle there. He's got everything covered. The one thing he didn't cover was that. I think it was brilliant".

Watch below from the 16:00 mark for Schmeichel's comments.


Newcastle Jets were down a goal in the 2018 Hyundai A-League Semi Final when McGree produced an effort that stunned the crowd and watchers across the globe.

Videos of McGree's scorpion kick were watched and shared millions of times with football fans in awe of the jaw-dropping goal.

READ: The best social reaction to McGree's goal


The goal also sparked some incredible reactions from players, pundits and fans.

Fox Sports' Brenton Speed, who commentated the goal, was brought to tears after watching English commentator Martin Tyler compliment the way he had captured the moment.

Click here to watch more reaction to McGree's goal or vote for the goal to win the Puskas Award here.

Brenton Speed tears up at Martin Tyler praise
Former Caltex Socceroo Josh Kennedy on the near "impossible" goal.
FIFA World Cup fans react to the goal
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This article was originally published on the Hyundai A-League website.