Turkey's Hamit Altintop took home the Puskas award for the goal of the year last night in Zurich, but in our eyes, the real winner was Glentoran's Matty Burrows. The Bangor man was gutted to lose, but I think he'll be flying home today full of pride, knowing he was the real winner in the eyes of Ronaldo and Mourinho. Burrows' goal was clearly the goal of the year and it just proves the skepticism that FIFA has for smaller divisions like the IFA.
He explained his reactions to the Belfast Telegraph:
“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.”
Altintop's goal was a screamer, but it lacked that bit of Burrows' genius.