Messi Nominated for FIFA Puskas Award for the Most Beautiful Goal of the Year

Could the fourth time be the charm for Lionel Messi?

The 28-year-old Argentine soccer superstar is among the 10 nominees for FIFA‘s Puskas Award, which celebrates the “most beautiful” goal of the year.

Lionel Messi

The award is named after legendary Real Madrid and Hungary striker Ferenc Puskas and the period for this year’s prize is from September 27, 2014 to September 23, 2015.

Messi, who was previously nominated for the prize in 2010, 2011 and 2012, was shortlisted for the Puskas Award for beating four defenders before scoring Barcelona‘s first goal against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final.

Here’s a look at this year’s Puskas Award nominees:

2015 Puskas Award nominations
David Ball – Fleetwood v Preston, League One
Gonzalo Castro – Real Sociedad v Deportivo, La Liga
Alessandro Florenzi – Roma v Barcelona, Champions League
Wendell Lira – Goianesia v Atletico, Brazil Football League
Carli Lloyd – USA v Japan, Women’s World Cup
Lionel Messi – Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao, Copa del Rey
Philippe Mexes – AC Milan v Inter Milan, friendly
Marcel Ndjeng – SC Paderborn v Bolton, friendly
Esteban Ramirez – Herediano v Deportivo Saprissa, Costa Rica
Carlos Tevez – Juventus v Parma Calcio, Serie A

The award was won by Colombia’s James Rodriguez last year for his goal against Uruguay in the World Cup.

Manchester United Agrees to Loan Deal with AS Monaco for Falcao

Radamel Falcao is the man(chester)

Manchester United has agreed to a loan deal with AS Monaco for the 28-year-old Colombian footballer, who also plays for the Colombia national football team.

 

Radamel Falcao

Falcao, who cost Monaco 60 million euros last summer, is set to join Louis van Gaal’s squad subject to a medical and terms, according to ESPN FC.

Falcao had also been a target of Real Madrid and had been linked with Arsenal and Manchester City.

His arrival will be one of two transfers United is expected to complete on deadline day, along with finalizing Daley Blind‘s move from Ajax.

Van Gaal had already brought in Southampton left-back Luke Shaw, Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera, Sporting Lisbon defender Marcos Rojo and Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria.

European champion Madrid had been the favorite to sign Falcao, whose departure from Monaco seemed to be signaled when he was omitted from their squad to face Lille on Saturday.

Falcao, who missed the World Cup due to a cruciate ligament injury, scored 70 goals in 91 games for Atletico Madrid and 72 goals in 87 matches for Porto before joining Monaco.

Soccer Star Xavi Weds Fiancee Nuria Cunillera

Xavi Hernandez is officially off the market…

The 33-year-old Spanish soccer star, a midfielder for Futbol Club Barcelona, has married his fiancée Nuria Cunillera.

Xavi Hernandez

The couple tied the knot in a ceremony at the Marimurtra Botanical Garden in the Spanish city of Blanes on Saturday night before some 180 invited guests, including most of the soccer team.

Following the ceremony, Hernandez and his new wife held the reception at the neighboring building “El Convent,” a 16th century structure.

The Barça star’s nuptials attracted about 100 curious members of the public who cheered Hernandez when he arrived at the botanical garden, which offers several magnificent views of the Costa Brava.

Among the guests at the ceremony were Barça midfielder Sergio Busquets, former players Santi Ezquerro, Oleguer Presas, Gabri Garcia and Albert Jorquera, as well as former Athletic Bilbao player Joseba Etxeberria.

The last guests to arrive, accompanied by their spouses or girlfriends, were Cesc Fabregas, Leo Messi, Javier Mascherano, Pedro Rodriguez, Jordi Alba and Andres Iniesta, who all showed up together in one vehicle and sparked a frenzy among fans who were waiting at the door.

Cunillera was the last to arrive riding in an antique Bentley.

The newly married couple are said to be planning a honeymoon in the Seychelles this summer.

Messi ThisClose to Tying Record For Goals in a Calendar Year

It’s no wonder he’s gunning for his fourth consecutive Ballon d’Or… Lionel Messi is thisclose to making soccer history for his ability to score goals.

The 25-year-old Argentine fútbol star is just one goal shy of German Gerd Mueller‘s record of 85 goals in a calendar year after scoring twice in FC Barcelona’s 5-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.

Lionel Messi

Messi was again a key figure as Barcelona set a new record start to a La Liga season with 13 wins and a draw in their first 14 matches, surpassing the previous best by Real Madrid in the 1991-92 season.

Messi’s 11th double of the season leaves him one  goal shy of Muller’s record for club and country in one year, set in  1972.