Wednesday 20 February 2019

'Time to get the gúna on' - Stephanie Roche getting ready for award decision in Zurich

Stephanie Roche pictured with fellow FIFA Puskas Goal of the Year finalist James Rodriguez
Stephanie Roche pictured with fellow FIFA Puskas Goal of the Year finalist James Rodriguez

John Fallon

Whatever the outcome of this evening’s Fifa Puskás Goal of the Year award ceremony, Irish contender Stephanie Roche is having the day of her life in Zurich.

The Dubliner arrived onto the red carpet of the Kongresshalle alongside her boyfriend Dean Zamba wearing her specially-designed Helen Cody dress and the smile of a prospective history-maker.

Roche is the first female to reach the final stages of the prestigious awards and frantic voting for her from home and abroad has pushed her right into contention to edge James Rodríguez for the gong when it is announced at 6.40pm Irish time.

Her sumptuous volley for Peamount United against Wexford Youths in October 2013 has been watched more the six millions times online.

With the third contender for the award, Robin van Persie, unable to attend due to an injury he incurred yesterday while playing for Manchester United, Roche has already been wished well by Real Madrid star Rodríguez.

Amongst the other figureheads of world football to meet and greet the Irish international are Alessandro Del Piero, Thierry Henry along with Brazilian women’s football star, Marta.

Earlier today, the girl from Shankill insisted she was confident of upsetting the odds by claiming the prize and enhancing the profile of women’s football even more.

The guests are beginning to take their seats in the gala hall, with the tension palpable ahead of the various awards.

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