Ben Garuccio could have a date set with the Puskas Award but the modest Western United full-back doesn’t plan on revisiting his incredible scorpion-kick goal too many times.
Garuccio stole the show in Sunday’s 3-2 A-League Men win over Western Sydney when he threw himself forward to meet Aleksandar Prijovic’s outside-of-the-boot chip, flinging his leg behind him, then flicking the ball over his body into the bottom corner.
“It was unbelievable, to be honest,” Garuccio, who scored two goals at AAMI Park on the night, told reporters.
“It was spur of the moment. (Prijovic) got it and I saw a little gap and I just ran and he played a top ball and I just stuck my leg up basically and I thought, ‘if I can get any sort of connection on this it will be alright’.
“It actually hit my heel nice and flush and I was like ‘that’s a good connection’ but I couldn’t see it and I looked up and it was in the net. The rest is history, I suppose.
“It just felt like I got a good connection on it because I did one in training a couple of weeks ago and I face-planted horribly and everyone laughed at me.”
Much like Riley McGree’s long-range scorpion kick for Newcastle against Melbourne City in 2018, which was nominated for the Puskas Award, Garuccio’s 68th-minute goal immediately went viral.
“I didn’t know if he did a bicycle kick or what until I saw it back on the screen. I just couldn’t believe it,” United coach and Socceroos great John Aloisi said.
Garuccio played down expectations of joining his former Adelaide United teammate McGree as a global award nominee.
“I don’t really think about that stuff too much,” he said.
“Obviously, it’s a nice feeling. It’s an unbelievable goal. It’s probably the best I’ll ever score in my career. So, of course, I’ll enjoy it.
“Riley McGree’s was unbelievable. It was right-footed as well. He’s a left-footer and he did it with his right foot and it was outside the box. I still enjoyed it, I’ll take it.
“I haven’t really looked (at my phone) too much. I just checked my family’s messages and stuff like that and, yeah, there’s a lot of stuff on Twitter and Instagram and that.
“I’ll get around to that and enjoy it for the moment and then move on to another game Wednesday.”