Wendell Lira beats Messi to win the Puskas Award


Wendell Lira claimed the Puskas Award for the outstanding goal of 2015 for his stunning overhead kick for Goianesia against Atletico Goianiense.

The acrobatic strike capped a fine team move in Brazil's Campeonato Goiano to earn Wendell 46.7 per cent in the public poll with 1.6million fans voting.

Lionel Messi (33.3 per cent) and Alessandro Florenzi (7.1 per cent) were also shortlisted.

Florenzi was nominated for his long-range strike for Roma against Barca in this season's Champions League and Messi for his wonderful solo goal for Barcelona against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final.

Since its launch in 2009, Messi has been shortlisted for the Puskas Award in 2010, 2011 and 2012 without ever finishing in the top three.

Wendell succeeded Colombia and Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez, who collected the 2014 gong for his stunning World Cup volley against Uruguay.

He said: "It is an honour to be here to get know famous players I've only seen on the screen before. I thank my family and all those who voted for me. I should also like to thank my wife and my daughter."