- Daniel Zsori nominated for 2019’s best goal
- Scored immediately after coming on as a substitute
- Goal voted into top three
At just 18 years old, Daniel Zsori is the youngest of the ten nominees for the FIFA Puskás Award 2019 – yet this is not the only thing that makes his goal stand out.
On 16 February this year, the youngster was waiting on the touchline to make his debut in Hungary’s first division, after Debrecen coach Andras Herczeg gave him the nod for no less than a top-of-the-table clash against league leaders Ferencvaros. The fledgling striker replaced Mark Szesci nine minutes before the end of the match with Debrecen trailing 1-0.
"I didn’t think I would be playing for the first team so quickly," Zsori said with a grin on his face after the game. "I’d already been in the squad against Ujpest but ended up being an unused substitute."
His team-mate Daniel Tozser netted the equaliser shortly after Zsori’s introduction, but it was what happened in added time that really took everyone by surprise. "Adam Bodi crossed the ball into the penalty box and I just thought: 'Why not have a go?' I’d practised the move plenty of times in my training sessions and copied it from my idol Cristiano Ronaldo. I held my breath for a moment as the ball flew towards the goal."
When it nestled in the back of the net, 20,000 fans in the Nagyerdei Stadium roared in celebration and an ecstatic Zsori ripped off his shirt.
Although his parents were unable to see their son’s performance in person, they were watching the match at home. "My mum cried on the phone," he said. "I’m very grateful to my parents, because none of this would have happened without them. I always pictured myself scoring goals but I never dared to dream of scoring one like that."
As of 24 August 2019, Zsori has made another 14 appearances in the Hungarian top flight, but has yet to find the target again and has scored just once in the cup. Nevertheless, he is unlikely to forget the goal that started it all.