Wendell Lira.

Wendell Lira quits football six months after winning FIFA Puskas Award

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Remember Wendell Lira?

He made headlines across the world back in January after beating Lionel Messi to FIFA’s coveted Puskas Award - the accolade handed to the player who scores the most beautiful goal during a calendar year.

Lira picked up 46.7 per cent of the vote - Messi only received 33.3 per cent for his wonder goal against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final - for his acrobatic effort for Goianésia against Atlético-GO.


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The former Brazil Under-20 international melted the hearts of football fans by crying on stage; it was easy to tell that this was the biggest moment of his life.

However, six months on and Lira has sprung a major surprise by announcing his retirement from football.

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Lira wants to become a professional gamer

He’s only 27, so arguably had the best years of his career still ahead of him, but he’s decided to swap his football boots for a joystick.


That’s right: Lira wants to pursue a career as a professional gamer and has his sights set on becoming a YouTube personality.

Lira is pretty good at FIFA...

According to the Brazilian website Globo Esporte, Lira is pretty handy at FIFA.

After winning the Puskas Award, he was challenged to a game by Abdulaziz Alshehri, winner of the 2015 FIFA Interactive World Cup.

The result? An emphatic 6-1 victory to the Brazilian.

Lira disillusioned with football

In his interview with Globo Esporte, Lira also revealed that he was quitting football because he was fed up with the game - particularly having to constantly undergo surgery on his injuries.

He was also fed up with the sharks who make their money from football and, understandably, felt that his career had peaked with his success at the previous Ballon d’Or ceremony.

Lira described his Puskas Award as the “icing on the cake” and we wish him all the best in his future career in eSports.

Is Wendell Lira right to ditch football for FIFA? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

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Ballon d'Or
UEFA Champions League
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
World Cup
Lionel Messi

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