POLISH AMPUTEE FOOTBALLER WINS FIFA PUSKAS AWARD.
Written by AIGBOKHAEBHO OKHUELEIGBE on March 1, 2023
Marcin Oleksy made headlines on Monday by winning the Puskas Award at the FIFA The Best Gala in Paris. The Polish Amputee Footballer came out top of the lot that had French Footballer, Dimitri Payet and Richarlison Andrade to win the coveted award for the best goal of the year.
Marcin scored an overhead kick in a Warta Poznan v Stal Rzeszow match on 06/11/2022 in a beauty of a goal that would eventually win him the honours as his goal was voted for by fans across the world and expert panelists.
The story was not always a sweet one as he reflects on the bitter experience that led to the unfortunate incidence which caused him to lose one of his limbs.
Construction worker Oleksy, now aged 35, suffered a life-changing accident on 20 November 2010. He was working to fill a hole in the road when a vehicle veered off track and into his path. The then 23-year-old’s legs were crushed and, speaking to FIFA+ earlier this year, he revealed his immediate fears about “whether I would live or die”. Oleksy drifted in and out of consciousness as he was rushed to hospital and continued to do so after receiving painkilling treatment at the facility. “Then, I woke up after the operation,” Oleksy explained.
That is when I saw what had happened. That one of my legs had gone. It didn’t make me feel sad. Maybe that was because, right after the accident, I saw how my legs looked, so I was somehow prepared for that.
While reflecting on the goal that won him the Puskas Award, Oleksy said:
My team-mate Dawid [Novak] played the pass. When I saw him approaching the ball, I knew it was coming to me. I connected really cleanly. It was pure. When I hit it, I was following the ball all the way with my eyes and I saw it go into the corner of the net. I always wanted to score a beautiful goal. You could see how proud it made me after I scored. I stood up tall, I put my chest out. I was just so, so happy.
EXCERPTS FROM FIFA+ WAS USED IN THIS REPORT.