Belfast Telegraph

Ireland's Stephanie Roche the first woman to make FIFA's Goal of the Year shortlist - alongside World Cup wonders James Rodriguez and Robin van Persie

By Declan Whooley

Irish international Stephanie Roche has said it has been a "crazy day" after making the three-person shortlist for the FIFA Goal of the Year and urged the public to keep voting.

The Dubliner beat off competition from the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Diego Costa and Tim Cahill to make the FIFA Goal of the Year shortlist along with James Rodriguez and Robin van Persie.

Her goal for Peamount United on October 20, 2013 against Wexford Youths was one of ten goals chosen for the global award and now she joins the Real Madrid and Manchester United stars in the final three-person shortlist.

Her stunning goal became an internet sensation, attracting over 2.5million views on You Tube and has admitted it has been a surreal day.

"It's been a crazy day," she told Newstalk's Off The Ball.

"I went down to the club house, French TV came down to watch me watching the results as it was live on YouTube. I was the first name called out, I was just so happy to be in there and to be in the top three is brilliant."

"I'm the first woman to do it, obviously that is a great achievement and something I'm delighted to say I have done."

Speaking on a video posted by the FAI, the Dubliner offered her thanks for all the votes that have got her this far and asked the public to help her for a final push.

“This is fantastic for me but I owe a lot to everybody who has voted for me and got behind me,” she said in a video posted by the FAI. “It has been fantastic and I’m just delighted that I get to go to the awards now.

“Really thanks, and maybe I can go and win it now. Keep voting!”

Stephanie, who currently plays in France, was the only female nominated and will battle it out with two other cracking goals from last summer's World Cup and the 25 year-old has received huge support in her efforts to win.

"Been talking about Stephanie all day, has to win top goal unbelievable she has to win simples. STEPHANIE MUST WIN," former Irish international Paul McGrath tweeted when she made the 10-person shortlist.

Earlier she thanked the public for their support and votes.

To vote for Stephanie visit http://www.fifa.com/ballon-dor/puskas-award/

The winner will be announced on January 12 at the FIFA Ballon d'Or gala dinner.

Source: Irish Independent

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