Thailand’s Suphawut Thueanklang may not have won as many trophies as Falcao or Ricardinho, but there can be no doubting that he has made his mark on the history of the FIFA Futsal World Cup. For the second world finals running, Thueanklang has won the Goal of the Tournament award, voted for by the users of FIFA.com.
Just as he did at Thailand 2012, the Thai player earned the admiration and praise of our readers, who voted en masse for their favourite goal of Colombia 2016. In total, an impressive 37,800 votes were cast, with more than 80 percent going to Thueanklang’s audacious strike against Cuba in Medellin.
Slipping his marker as he latched on to a throw-out from his keeper, Thueanklang found himself one on one with Cuba keeper Brenieht Suarez. Rather than shoot straight on goal, as he did for his winning strike in 2012, the Thai flicked the ball from one foot to the other, not once but twice, to leave the bemused keeper on the ground. Having fashioned his opening, he then casually stroked the ball home.
Taking second place in the competition was a fine individual goal by Vietnam’s Minh Tri Nguyen against Guatemala. Bringing a high ball expertly under control on the touchline, Nguyen cut in past his marker and unleashed an unstoppable drive into the roof of the net. The third most voted goal was scored by Morocco’s Adil Habil, who caught Spain keeper Paco Sedano by surprise with a superb curling effort from his own half, though it did not prevent the Spanish from emerging 4-3 winners.
Falcao, Ricardinho and Abdiel Castrellon were among the other players to make the ten-goal shortlist, though none of them were able to match Thueanklang’s award-winning trickery. Still only 27, the Thai magician could well be in the running for a third straight award in four years’ time. Keep an eye out for him.