The FIFA Puskas Award for the best goal of the year is relatively new, created in 2009, but it has already established itself as a treasured individual prize in football.
Last year wasn’t short on stunning strikes with 2022’s three finalists confirmed to be Richarlison, Dimitri Payet and Marcin Oleksy.
While the first two goalscorers are household names, the appearance of Oleksy’s name is surprising as unlike the other two finalists, he plays football with just one leg.
The Polish amputee is a genuine contender to win the Puskas this year and his story to potential silverware is an inspirational one.
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Marcin Oleksy’s Puskas goal contender
On November 6, 2022, Marcin Oleksy demanded the world’s attention with a mind-blowing goal in Poland.
Playing for Warta Poznan against Stal Rzeszow, the forward latched onto a cross with a perfectly executed bicycle kick that flew past the opposition goalkeeper.
With just one leg to leap and hit the ball with, it was an unreal piece of skill that even his teammates couldn’t believe.
Running out of adjectives for this one ????????
Will Marcin Oleksy be taking home the FIFA Puskás Award?#TheBest
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) February 22, 2023
Who is Marcin Oleksy?
Marcin Oleksy is an amputee footbaler from Poland.
At the age of 23, while working as a road worker, he suffered an unfortunate accident in which a machine fell on his legs which caused his lower left extremity to be amputated.
Now, 12 years later and at the age of 35, he stands out in his country as an amputee footballer in addition to continuing to dedicate himself to the construction business.
It was in 2019 that sport returned to Oleksy’s life, now as an outfield player in adapted football, having been a goalkeeper before his accident.
Oleksy represented Poland in the 2022 Amputee Soccer World Cup and his team reached the Round of 16 before being eliminated by Brazil.
At FIFA’s The Best 2022 awards, he will try to be the first amputee Puskas winner as he opens the door for all forms of football to be recognised on the global stage.