Messi against Almunia / PHOTO: ARXIU FCB

Leo Messi is once again a contender for the FIFA Puskás Award, an award given to the player judged to have scored the most beautiful goal of the year. The Argentinian was up for the prize in 2010 as well. This year, his goal against Arsenal in the return leg of the Champions League knock-out round has been nominated.

The goal was a masterpiece: Iniesta found Messi, who, when confronted by an encroaching Almunia, gently chipped the ball over the sprawled the keeper. Messi, not letting the ball touch the ground, finished off the play with a volley.

The contenders

The other contenders are Wayne Rooney, Dejan Stankovic, Benjamin de Ceulaer, Julio Gómez, Lisandro López, Neymar, Heather O'Reilly, and the two ex-Barça players, Giovani dos Santos and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This is the third year FIFA has awarded the Puskás Award, previous winners are Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009 and Hamit Altintop in 2010.

The award is decided by public vote, the goal that receives the most votes on FIFA’s official webpage wins the FIFA Puskás Award. Voting closes on December 5th.

The winner will be announced at the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala, January 9th, 2012. Click here to vote for Leo Messi’s goal.