IT was the missile that launched the Newcastle into the A-League grand final, went viral around the world and now Riley McGree’s “scorpion kick” goal has been pitched against the best from Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Mo Salah.
McGree’s jaw dropping artistry to level the score against Melbourne City in the A-League preliminary final at McDonald Jones Stadium on April 27 is one of 10 nominees for the FIFA Puskas award.
The nominees are who’s who of football and include the athleticism of Ronaldo, the technical skill of Messi and the wizardry of Salah.
The 19-year-old’s no-look backheel over his head is similar to the goal scored by Olivier Giroud for Arsenal against Crystal Palace which won the award in 2017.
Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel had no hesitation in nominating the goal by the Melbourne City midfielder as his favourite.
""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".