Oscarine Masuluke’s trip of a lifetime didn’t have the happy ending it deserved on Monday night as he lost out on the Fifa Puskas Award to Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud.
But the Baroka FC goalkeeper will leave London a happy man, as his visit to England’s capital ticked off a bucket-list item in his first trip outside the country.
The lad from Giyani arrived at the London Palladium on Monday night having already made history by becoming the first goalkeeper and African to be short-listed for the award for the Goal of the Year, which saw him compete with Giroud and Venezuelan Under-17 girls forward Deyna Castellanos.
He lost out in the award voted for by the public, just like the Goal of the Season gong at the Premier Soccer League awards.
Masuluke also didn’t get enough votes there, losing to Siphiwe Tshabalala, who was backed by the millions of Kaizer Chiefs supporters.
Even though the 24-year-old missed out on those awards, he won many hearts across the world – including Nigerian legend Jay-Jay Okocha, legendary sprinter Usain Bolt and former Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo, who were impressed by the spectacular goal that was scored by a goalkeeper.
Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo also endorsed Masuluke’s goal on Monday night just before Giroud was announced as the winner.
Masuluke’s brilliant bicycle kick came against Orlando Pirates at Peter Mokaba Stadium in an Absa Premiership match in November last year.
The lanky goalkeeper took his almost two-metre tall frame to the Buccaneers’ box after Baroka won a corner in the dying minutes of optional time while trailing 1-0.
Pirates goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane punched the resultant corner over Masuluke, who didn’t panic, but turned around to run after the ball before whipping out a bicycle kick that received international recognition.
Baroka’s fans were worn over by his antics so much that they urged him to go to every corner Baroka in their next match against Maritzburg United, which they lost 1-0.