By Diana Perucho & Alejandra Ducaju
Irish football player Stephanie Roche was nominated together with two international football stars for the Fifa Puskas Award to the best goal of the 2014 year.
Roche is the first woman to be among the three finalists for goal of the year awarded by soccer’s governing body FIFA. Her volley for Ireland’s Peamount United against Wexford Youths, watched by 85 spectators, is up against a diving header by Holland captain Robin van Persie versus Spain and James Rodriguez’s dipping shot for Colombia against Uruguay (now in the Real Madrid). Both were made at the last World Cup. Even with close to 6 million views on YouTube for Roche’s goal — scored with Nike boots — a slew of publicity and praise from the likes of former England striker Gary Lineker, the 25- year-old Ireland international is yet to be offered any sponsorship deals.
Fifa revealed the winner of the award last January and at the end Stephanie Roche lost head-to-head with James Rodriguez the Puskas Award for goal of the year but she demonstrated that women football players can be as good as men players.