Former Celtic target Riley McGree nominated for FIFA Puskas Award

Riley McGree of the Jets during a Newcastle Jets A-League training session at Ray Watt Oval on May 1, 2018 in Newcastle, Australia.

Scottish Premiership champions Celtic reportedly wanted to sign Australian youngster Riley McGree in 2017.

Riley Patrick Mcgree of Adelaide United celebrates after scoring a goal during the AFC Champions League Group H match between Jeju United FC and Adelaide United at Jeju World Cup Stadium...

Few were aware of Riley McGree when he was first linked with a move to Celtic in March 2017. Now, pretty much every football fan the world over will have seen the Australian youngster in action, if only for a few seconds.

According to The Scottish Sun a year and a half ago, Celtic were interested in signing the then 18-year-old Adelaide United midfielder, who had been so impressive Down Under that he was included in Australia’s World Cup qualifiers against Iraq and the UAE.

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As you might have guessed, McGree never got his move to Celtic. Instead, he joined Belgian side Club Brugge before returning to Australia on loan after failing to make a single appearance in the Jupiler League.

 

But it’s fair to say he caught the eye during his spell at Newcastle Jets last season. In an A-League semi-final clash against Melbourne City, McGree produced a moment of magic that could define his entire career – a stunning scorpion kick goal from the edge of the box that was replayed, giffed and Tweeted across the globe.

Now, the 19-year-old has been awarded with a place on the 10-man shortlist for FIFA’s Puskas Award, rivalling Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and co to be named the author of 2018’s most outstanding goal.

If only he had produced this piece of wondrous brilliance in Celtic colours.

Riley McGree of the Jets celebrates his goal with Jason Hoffman during the A-League Semi Final match between the Newcastle Jets and Melbourne City at McDonald Jones Stadium on April 27,...

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