Puskas Award: Burrows’ special one deserved much Mour
He’s got the suit, the pictures and memories that will last a lifetime.
The only thing missing from Matty Burrows’ big night with the stars of world football in Zurich was the prize that so many thought he should win.
Even the man named as the best coach in the world thought that the Glentoran striker’s goal was good enough to take the title of the best of 2010.
Jose Mourinho, who led Inter Milan to Champions League glory before leaving for Real Madrid, isn’t known for keeping his opinions to himself and declared the goal Burrows scored against Portadown last October was a special one. He told him as much!
Turkey and Bayern Munich star Hamit Altintop took the Fifa Ballon d’Or Puskas Award instead. Not a bad strike you have to say, volleying home a corner kick that was played to him at the edge of the box.
Nothing like as unique as Burrows’ goal, though. Matty will just have to have another go this year.
“I had a wee bit of disappointment when the winner was read out, but I got over that pretty quickly,” said Burrows, joined at last night’s gala presentation in Switzerland by Glentoran chairman Aubry Ralph.
“I said from the start that just being here for a brilliant night was enough for me and that if I won the award it would be a bonus and I still feel the same. It’s the best night of my life.
“I’ve met some of my heroes, I spoke to Cristiano Ronaldo who said my goal was the best. Wesley Sneijder told me that it’s the most beautiful goal he’s ever seen.
“We spoke to Jose Mourinho and had our picture taken with him. Aubry explained who I was and he said ‘you deserve to win’ which was amazing to hear from him.
“I sat beside Giovanni van Bronkhorst and he knew who I was. He did the back heel when I met him.
“The Japanese girl who was up for the award as well came and asked to have her picture taken with me, which was amazing.
“When we sat down, everywhere I looked there was a big star sitting there.
“It’s been an unbelievable experience and something I’ll never forget.”
Andrei Sidelnikov, the Kazakhstan goalkeeper who was beaten by Altintop’s screamer, presented the award.
If Portadown number one David Miskelly had been on the flight with Burrows then we’d maybe have worked out that Matty was going to be the winner.
Alas, he in particular, and Northern Ireland domestic football in general, will have to settle for just a little more than 15 minutes of fame rather than the name Matty Burrows really up in lights.
The Bangor lad, who was still trying to fight his way into the Glentoran first-team just last season, rubbed shoulders with World Cup winners, both past and present, as well as a global icon in
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who received an award from Fifa President Sepp Blatter.
“I don’t think I’ll be back here. If I can’t win it for a back heel from 15 yards then I’ll never win it,” said Burrows.
“Maybe I’ll have to start practicing overhead kicks from the halfway line to give me a chance of being up for the award again.”
Altintop actually looked surprised when his name was called out. Maybe he thought that Matty’s goal should have won the award as well.