Wendell Lira scored the best goal in world football in 2015 but has decided to hang up his boots at age 27 in order to take up his passion for the sport in its virtual form.
Brazilian striker Wendell Lira has quit football six months after winning the Puskas Award in order to start a new career as a FIFA video-game player.
The 27-year-old’s strike for Goianesia against Atletico Goianiense saw off competition from the likes of Lionel Messi and Alessandro Florenzi at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in January.
But he has now announced he is hanging up his boots and picking up a controller to pursue his knack for esports.
Citing the “lies” in professional football as among his reasons for giving it up, Lira plans to set up his own YouTube channel on which he will showcase his gaming.
He demonstrated his FIFA aptitude at the Ballon d’Or ceremony by beating Abdulaziz Alshehri, the FIFA world champion, 6-1 as Real Madrid against Barcelona.
Alshehri won $20,000 in prize money and the trip to Zurich to see the world’s best player crowned by emerging victorious at the FIFA Interactive World Cup in Munich in 2015.