David Ball has spoke of his pride at flying the flag for Fleetwood Town, The Football League, and every English footballer, after being nominated for the FIFA Puskas Award.The striker is a nominee for the Award, which is presented to the player, from either the men's or women's game, judged to have scored the best goal of the year, for his spectacular lob in Fleetwood's 1-1 draw against rivals Preston North End in Sky Bet League 1.
He faces stiff competition from Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and Carli Lloyd, but Ball, who has also played for Swindon Town, Peterborough United and Rochdale in The Football League, is honoured to have made the top 10.
The general public are invited to vote for their favourite goal on FIFA's website, and the top 10 will be reduced to a three-person shortlist by the end of November, with the winner being announced on the day of the Ballon d'Or gala on 11th January 2016.
Vote: Click here to see the goals in the running for FIFA's Puskas Award
“The nomination is something that I'll cherish for the rest of my life,” the 25-year-old told football-league.co.uk. “I'll tell my kids and their kids that I got nominated for a Puskas Award, which is really a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
“I think Wayne Rooney is the only other Englishman to be nominated for this Award, so for me just getting to the top 10 is an achievement in itself.
“I'm representing every footballer in England really, and on a personal level it would be fantastic. It's great to represent everybody; it's a real honour for me.
“Look at the likes of Jamie Vardy, getting into the England squad. He was playing in non-league for Fleetwood, so it does show that there is quality beyond the Premier League.
“And this Award highlights that. It looks into all different areas of football - women's and men's, and then all the different levels as well. It's great to see, and to be involved with.”
The other players involved include Barcelona's Messi – nominated for his brilliant solo effort in the Copa del Rey Final – Tevez, who is in the running for his goal against Parma, and USA captain Carli Lloyd, after she completed a hat-trick in the Women's World Cup Final against Japan by scoring from the halfway line.
As for Ball's goal; it was an exquisite chip. But it's even more impressive given the fact it was scored in the 85th minute of a Lancashire derby against Preston.
“I was just trying to get into a position to take a shot,” the former Manchester City trainee reflected. “Then I came out of the turn and I saw the goalkeeper off his line, and attempted it. Luckily it went in.
“I actually scored one similar the week before - I think that was probably fresh in the mind, so I just went for it.
“I had only stepped off the bench as a substitute 10 minutes earlier, so I just wanted to come on and try to make an impact. But I'm a confident player and I had attempted it before, so was just lucky that it came off!
“The reaction has been crazy. I've been doing lots of interviews; I've joined Twitter at last, and it's brought some good vibes to Fleetwood.”
A lot has happened at the Highbury club since the ball hit the back of the net that day, with Graham Alexander being replaced by Steven Pressley in the dugout, but the Cod Army striker believes things are looking up.
They've won four of the manager's first eight games in charge, culminating in Saturday's 5-1 demolition of Swindon Town and Tuesday night's 2-1 victory over Millwall, to sit 17th in Sky Bet League 1.
“It's been a rocky few months. I think Graham Alexander was unlucky to lose his job but, you know, that's football.
“I was fond of Graham in the time that he was here, but obviously we've got the new gaffer in - Steve Pressley - and I've been very impressed with him.
“He's been fantastic and has brought a new regime in and the lads have really taken too it, myself included. I'm really enjoying it.”