She didn't win, but let's not let that take too much away from a brilliant couple of months for Stephanie Roche. Her skill and ability on the pitch, as well as her personality off it, have captured the imaginations of many people who wouldn't have had a clue what the Puskas Award was. In that, Stephanie truly is a winner, she has quite possibly opened up the game to an awful lot of people who wouldn't have given it a second thought.
First there was the build-up, the endless, never ending build-up.
Paul Galvin was getting a bit restless
This #BallonDor feels like a combination of Congress and Eurovision.
— paul galvin (@pgal10) January 12, 2015
But eventually it was time to get down to it, and even if the result was a bit of an anticlimax, that didn't stop the world from talking about it, with Roche quickly becoming a worldwide trending topic.
In case there was any doubt about just how popular she had become
#3 trend worldwide! Steph captured the hearts and minds of the world! What a remarkable story! #BallondOr pic.twitter.com/tsGItW3YH9 — FAI (@FAIreland) January 12, 2015
Some were keen to raise bigger issues
Stephanie Roche's goal raises all kinds of questions about lack of media coverage of women's football. How many better goals have we missed? — Jean Williams (@JeanMWilliams) January 12, 2015
I'm just glad that all this public support and disappointment for Stephanie Roche will be channelled into attending #WNL games. Right? — Richie McCormåck (@RichieMcCormack) January 12, 2015
Finally: if a fraction of those who voted for @StephanieRoche9 would start going to women's games her gift to women's sport would multiply
— cliona foley (@ponyyelof) January 12, 2015
The magnitude of Roche's accomplishment was still to be celebrated though
Stephanie Roche edged out by James Rodriguez but still got almost one third of the vote for the #Puskas award, which is still incredible. — Amy Lawrence (@amylawrence71) January 12, 2015
The man some call 'God' was displeased
Reliably informed that @StephanieRoche9 never won the puskas award for best goal..... Shocking — Robbie Fowler (@Robbie9Fowler) January 12, 2015
John Delaney had to be shoehorned in somewhere
John Delaney has just been on to Sepp Blatter asking if there can be two Puskas Awards this year — Denis Hurley (@Denis_Hurley) January 12, 2015
There was the temptation to drown sorrows
Can we still stay out drinking? - crowd in Stephanie Roche local get the bad news https://t.co/pqd2DeU9nI — Tommy Martin (@TommyMartinTV3) January 12, 2015
Jim Beglin said what a lot of people were thinking
Never mind @StephanieRoche9 - FIFA got it wrong. Your goal delivered greater technical ability. — Jim Beglin (@jimbeglin) January 12, 2015
And there was quite a lot of this
If Stephanie Roche scored James Rodriguez's goal and James scored Roche's, James would have still won the award. That's the sad truth of it. — Tom (@FourFourTom) January 12, 2015
This is what we want to hear, sure a moral victory is just as good
Got James Rodriguez on Roche. Said it was a "golazo, deserved to win, but only one can". — Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) January 12, 2015
All in all, we're going with Jarlath Regan's analysis
Eh, maybe FIFA is unfamiliar with the old Irish proverb. "First is the worst. Second is the best." #BallonDor @StephanieRoche9 — Jarlath Regan (@Jarlath) January 12, 2015