Watch: Sporting Lisbon's Nuno Santos scores stunning rabona worthy of Puskas Award
The Sporting Lisbon wing back produced the skill in the 17th minute of their 3-0 win against Boavista
Sporting Lisbon left-wing back Nuno Santos scored a stunning rabona in their 3-0 win against Boavista at the weekend, hitting the ball into the top corner in what will surely be a contender for the FIFA Puskas Award.
Given to the scorer of the calendar year's best goal across all of football, the Puskas Award sets its criteria that a nomination must be an absolutely beautiful goal. And, quite frankly, Santos' strike is nothing short of beautiful.
In the 17th minute of the Primeira Liga match against Boavista, Sporting won the ball just inside their opponent's half. They attacked quickly through combination play between Marcus Edwards and Youssef Chermiti as they advanced towards goal.
When Edwards tried finding Chermiti inside the box, the ball was played just behind the Portuguese striker. Fortunately, though, Nuno Santos was waiting behind, preparing himself for an imaginative finish no one in the Estádio José Alvalade expected.
As the ball fell to him just behind the penalty spot, the left-wing back produced a stunning rabona, blasting the ball into the top corner past a helpless goalkeeper and recovering defender attempting to block the skill.
Opening the scoring to the game, Santos' goal set Sporting on their way to a 3-0 win, too. His rabona finish arrowed into the top corner, with a slight hint of swerve to ensure it stayed within the posts.
Indeed, Santos' finish is reminiscent of Erik Lamela's effort against Arsenal in 2021, which won the Puskas Award that year. On that occasion, the Argentine winger managed to squeeze the ball through Thomas Partey's legs and into the far corner without any backlift.
Arguably, Santos' is even more impressive and sees him become at least an early contender for the 2023 Puskas Award, despite 2022 winner Marcin Oleksy only receiving his award on February 27, 2023.
Santos' is an impressive display of skill and technique, the rabona expertly executed to allow it to lift off the ground and power into the top corner as a result.
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Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.