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BAFANA Bafana and Mamelodi Sundowns forward Katlego "Killer" Mphela says he is honoured and encouraged by the recognition he has received from Fifa.
Speaking to Sowetan after football's world governing body confirmed that his brilliant strike against Spain in the Confederations Cup in June has been nominated for the Fifa Puskás award, Mphela described the nomination as a huge achievement.
The award is a new accolade that will be presented to the scorer of the best goal during the 2008-09 season. The winner will be selected by the users of Fifa.com and voting closes at noon on Monday.
The winner will be announced at the Fifa World Player Gala 2009 at the Kongresshaus, Zurich, on December 21.
"I'm very happy and am highly motivated by the nomination. What inspired me most is the fact that my goal has been nominated from a big tournament like the Confederations Cup where there were a number of world-class strikers," Mphela said.
"This is a prestigious award and I would like to plead with South Africans to vote for my goal. I rate it as one of the best goals I've ever scored and should I win this award, I will cherish it for a very long time."
Mphela scored Bafana Bafana's equaliser against the European champions at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 28. Even though they lost that match 3-2, the goal catapulted Mphela to hero status.
The goal is among the 10 magnificent strikes that are in the running. Other players nominated include Fernando Torres, Cristiano Ronaldo, Emmanuel Adebayor, Michael Essien and Andres Iniesta.
The Brits-born striker received the news of his nomination before the Brazilians' Absa Premiership match against Bidvest Wits at Super Stadium on Wednesday night.
The news motivated him to score the winning goal in the 85th minute.