Puskas nominee Roche delighted after 'incredible' experience

Stephanie Roche spoke of her disbelief after she was named as runner-up for the Puskas Award at Monday's Ballon d'Or ceremony.

Roche was nominated for the prize, which recognises the best goal of the calendar year, after a video of her stunning volley for Peamount United against Wexford Youths went viral.

The Republic of Ireland international - who has since earned a professional contract with French side ASPTT Albi - displayed brilliant poise to control a cross from the right before twice flicking the ball over a defender's head and arcing an effort into the top-right corner.

Despite her magnificent goal, Roche's effort finished second to James Rodriguez's chest and volley for Colombia in their World Cup last-16 clash with Uruguay.

However, Roche was far from disappointment and was quick to express her delight at meeting hero Cristiano Ronaldo - winner of the Ballon d'Or for the second straight year - at the gala in Zurich.

"I honestly couldn't believe it when I got the email saying I'd been nominated for the Puskas Award," Roche said.

"I never thought anything like that was possible for someone like me.

"It's just incredible to be here and to have the opportunity to meet people like Cristiano Ronaldo. I'm a Manchester United fan and he's my hero."