Maart wonder-goal earns early FIFA Puskas award nod

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Yusuf Maart of Kaizer Chiefs celebrates goal during the DStv Premiership 2022/23 match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs held at at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 29 October 2022. © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Yusuf Maart of Kaizer Chiefs celebrates goal during the DStv Premiership 2022/23 match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs held at at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 29 October 2022. © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Yusuf Maart's match-winning wonder-goal for Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto derby has earned an early nod for the prestigious FIFA Puskas award.

Bafana Bafana midfielder Yusuf Maart opened his account for Kaizer Chiefs in spectacular fashion on Saturday when he netted the match-winning goal in the Amakhosi's 1-0 Soweto derby win over rivals Orlando Pirates, scoring a long-ranged effort from well within his own half.

The 27-year-old's strike has already been labeled as an early contender for the PSL Goal of the Season award but could earn international recognition as well after being highlighted by football's world governing body FIFA on Tuesday.

"A stunning goal to win the Soweto derby," FIFA posted on their official social media accounts. "This strike from Kaizer Chiefs' Yusuf Maart could be one for the Puskas list."

FIFA annually bestows the Puskas award to the scorer of the best goal during a calendar year, with Mohamed Salah, Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and inaugural winner Cristiano Ronaldo among the list of previous recipients. 

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The shortlist for this year's accolade is yet to be revealed but Maart could find himself following in the footsteps of former PSL stars such as Hlompho Kekana, a two-time nominee, and Oscarine Masuluke, who ended as runner-up to Olivier Giroud in 2017, in attending the awards ceremony.

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