Ghana’s Michael Essien was given the honour of presenting the FIFA Puskas Award at the 2019 FIFA Football Awards Gala held on Monday night at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.
Having represented Ghana so gallantly throughout the course of his distinguished career, Essien once again did the nation proud as he was named in a select group of football icons to feature at world football governing body (FIFA’s) annual night of glitz and glamour.
The Puskas Prize, which Essien presented, is annually awarded to the player adjudged to have scored the best goal of the season.
Essien has himself twice before won similar “Goal of the Season” awards for his incredible strikes during his tenure at Chelsea FC in the English Premier League.
“The Bison” as he is affectionately referred to, handed over this year’s award to 18-year-old Daniel Zsorsi who beat off competition from Juan Quintero and Lionel Messi with his 93rd minute overhead kick for Debrecen against Ferencvaros just moments after he had been brought on as a substitute for his Hungarian league debut in February.
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi picked up the topmost accolade on the night by claiming a record-breaking sixth FIFA Best Player of the Year Award, while American Megan Rapinoe was adjudged the Best Women’s Player of the Year.
Yet another highlight on the night was the unveiling of both Men’s and Women’s FIFA/FIFpro Teams of the Year.
Thanks to the efforts of the PFAG, male and female professional footballers were again afforded the opportunity to be a part of this year’s landmark process by casting their votes for their preferred players.