Ibrahimovic unopposable in market to claim Puskas Award

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The 10 goals have been picked for the shortlist of the 2013 Puskas Award, with the usual mix of long-range imagination, 25-yard thunderbolts, impressive team moves and something from Neymar.

Neymar has finished first and third in the last two instalments of the goal of the year prize and holds another entry for a nice half volley for Brazil against Japan at the Confederations Cup.

But there has to be an argument that it is not even better than Paul Pogba’s similar strike for Juventus against Napoli recently and any reasonable search should find at least 50 better goals in 2013.

Robin van Persie’s goal in the Premier League game in which Manchester United cemented the 2012/13 title with a victory over Aston Villa is certainly worthy of recognition, both for the technique of the volley and the significance of the fixture.

This is the only thing counting against Ibrahimovich, as his audacious overhead kick in Sweden’s victory over England at Wembley came in a friendly, albeit one that marked Steven Gerrard’s 100th international cap.

The importance of the match has been previously labelled as one of the key criteria in picking the winner of the prize.

However, this is unlikely to matter this time and Ibrahimovic simply has to be backed at 1/2 to win the Puskas Award.

A poll in the Guardian currently has Ibrahimovic as clear leader with over 60 per cent of the votes, with no other candidate receiving more than 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, the FIFA Youtube channel has links to all 10 goals and Ibrahimovic’s is comfortably the most viewed here too.

Those wanting to take on Ibrahimovic with a bigger price may be best served plumping for Panagiotis Kone at 12/1 after a scissor-kick type volley for Bologna in Serie A.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.