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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

WATCH: Olivier Giroud's audacious scorpion kick shortlisted for Fifa Goal of the Year award

Arsenal striker faces competition from Venezuelan teenager Deyna Castellanos and goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke, who also make the shortlist

Olivier Giroud's scorpion kick goal against Crystal Palace on January 1, 2017 has been shortlisted for the Fifa Goal of the Year award. Tony O'Brien / Reuters
Olivier Giroud's scorpion kick goal against Crystal Palace on January 1, 2017 has been shortlisted for the Fifa Goal of the Year award. Tony O'Brien / Reuters

Olivier Giroud's audacious scorpion kick goal against Crystal Palace last season has been shortlisted for Fifa's Goal of the Year.

The Arsenal striker's moment of improvisation came on New Year's Day, applying an acrobatic flick with his left heel to Alexis Sanchez's cross that beat Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey via the underside of the crossbar.

The Frenchman admitted afterwards that luck played a huge part and that it was the best goal he had ever scored. Arsenal won the match at Emirates Stadium 2-0.

Giroud, 31, is the seventh Frenchman to be nominated for the award but the first to make the final shortlist of three.

Giroud faces competition from Venezuelan teenager Deyna Castellanos and goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke, who also make the shortlist.

Castellanos, 18, is the second Venezuelan woman in successive years to make the final three and was nominated for her strike from the halfway line against Cameroon at the Under 17 Women's World Cup in Jordan last year.

She follows in the footsteps of compatriot Daniuska Rodriguez, whose goal made the final three for last year's award but lost out to Malaysian Mohd Faiz Subri's spectacular 35-metre, swerving free kick.

South Africa's Masuluke is the first goalkeeper as well as the first player from Africa to make it to the final three for his last minute bicycle-kick equaliser for Baroka FC against Orlando Pirates last year.

The winner of the award will be decided by the public and announced at Fifa's annual player of the year ceremony in London on October 23.

The award is named after the late Hungary captain and former Real Madrid striker Ferenc Puskas.

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