Bradford City striker David Ball put himself in esteemed company when one of his goals earned him a nomination for a prestigious world award.
Ball’s exquisite volley for Fleetwood Town in 2015 earned him a place on the shortlist of that year’s FIFA Puskas Award – given to the scorer of the best goal of the year – along with the likes of Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez.
Mixing it with the aforementioned Argentine superstars must seem a long time ago now as Ball endures the rigours of a League One relegation scrap with City.
Quizzed on the importance of his latest strike, a ‘96th’ minute winner against Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday, Ball looked back favourably at his time in the limelight, but maintains that all he is concerned about is the present.
“In terms of significance, this one (against Shrewsbury) was totally more important,” Ball said.
“I scored against Preston for Fleetwood and it was in the top ten goals in the world so I was up against Messi and a few others.
“I don’t know where I came, but the top three went to the Ballon D’Or ceremony.
“It was a great achievement for me. I never thought that it would happen, but it’s a good one to tell my kids when they are a little older.”
For now Ball is fully focused on maintaining the Bantams’ third-tier status.
The 29-year-old, on a season’s loan from Yorkshire neighbours Rotherham United, is loving life under manager David Hopkin.
“I’m really enjoying it here,” added Ball. “I’m playing as freely as ever and playing in front of big crowds is what it’s all about.
“I’ve loved my time at the club even though our position isn’t great.
“We want to dig in now and secure our status in League One.”