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Stephanie Roche Says People Are Backing Her To Win FIFA's Goal Of The Year On Merit Alone

The Irish footballer spoke to BuzzFeed News ahead of FIFA's annual gala in Zurich.

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On 12 January, Stephanie Roche will find out if this stunning strike has been named FIFA's goal of the year.

View this video on YouTube

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The 25-year-old scored the incredible goal while playing for Peamount United in October last year.

Luckily for her, the strike was caught on camera, and after going viral on YouTube (3.5 million views and counting), Roche was nominated for FIFA's prestigious Puskás Award.

Having initially been named on a longlist of 10 of the year's best goals, she has now made it into the final three, and will soon discover if she has beaten Robin van Persie and James Rodriguez to the prize.

Roche told BuzzFeed News the support she has received since being nominated has been unbelievable.

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"It’s just great, especially people in Ireland and France, where I am playing, have been getting behind me a lot and I’ve been getting support from all over the world, which has been kind of surreal but it is brilliant to see," she said.

"I hoping that it will continue now up until the day of the awards and I can get as many votes as possible and be in with a chance of actually winning the award."

The Republic of Ireland striker, who currently plays for French side ASPTT Albi, has been reported as saying she didn't want her goal to become a token vote. She explained:

The top 10 was open to the public vote, so that meant people had to go out and vote for the goal. I've had people come up and say it is the best goal of the three as it is now. And that's not because I'm a woman, it's because it's just technically probably the better goal and that's what I've been told.

That's all I meant. It was a public vote from the start. I think people are taking it for a good goal, not just because I'm a woman.

And on whether the goal last October was the greatest goal she's ever scored, the 25-year-old added:

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"I have scored quite a few good goals and I do like to try different things, I think any manager who has managed me will tell you that.

"I'll try volleys and different things during games, and luckily enough that was one of them that I was able to pull off and it was caught on camera, so I have to say obviously everything that has come with this goal that it probably is the best goal that I've ever scored.

"It's been brilliant."

Roche said she was taking her boyfriend as a guest to the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2014 Gala on 12 January but had also managed to get two extra tickets for her dad and brother.

She said she was trying not to think about the competition too much.

"I don't want to get my hopes up," she said. "Obviously getting into the top three has been a great achievement as it is but obviously I would love to win it as well. I'll see what happens and take it comes and see what happens on the night."

You can vote for your favourite of the three shortlisted goals on the FIFA website here.

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Richard James is acting head of news for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.

Contact Richard James at richard.james@buzzfeed.com.

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