2015 FIFA Awardee Wendell Lira retires to focus on playing video games

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In a sport that is highly physical and competitive, there is a professional soccer player who suddenly backed out for a simple reason. The player that backed out was a former FIFA Puskas awardee who once beaten Lionel Messi for the award.

He won the award due to a spinning bicycle-kick he made against Atletico Goianiense.

His name is Wendell Lira of Brazil.

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The reason is so simple that a player who once played the game may not usually do.

Wendell’s reason was that he simply desires to play FIFA soccer games since leaving his professional career due to recurring injuries. He added that he also dreams to become a FIFA world champion of the game one day.

This is actually surprising since he is still young at just 27-years-old. He can still recover and play the game if he really wants to. But the decision is up to him so he chose to be a gamer instead.

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When he started his gaming career in 2012, he immediately became the FIFA soccer tournament world champion in Goiás. This may be another reason why he continued his gaming career.

Moreover, just last January, he defeated Abdulaziz Alshehri, the world’s best FIFA gamer, with a 6-1 score in a gala dinner held in Zurich. The result has made EA Sports invite him to the 2016 FIFA Interactive World Cup edition.


The former soccer player was a part of the U-20 national team of Brazil. This is the team that played in the 2006 Copa Sendai in which Lira was able to score a goal against Tokohu XI.

Lira last played for the Vila Nova club in Brazil earlier this year.

Photo courtesy: WAKA77/Wikimedia


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