Man who beat Messi to best goal award retires to become professional gamer

2015 Puskas Award winner Wendell Lira announced retirement from professional football to pursue career in video gaming

Sports Desk July 29, 2016

2015 Puskas Award winner Wendell Lira announced on Thursday that he has retired from professional football to pursue a career in video gaming.

The former Brazilian striker made world headlines six months ago after taking home the prize for 2015’s best goal with a twisting bicycle kick against Atletico Goianiense. The 27-year-old defeated Barcelona forward Lionel Messi to win the aforementioned award.

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Speaking to, the former Goianesia man explained that it was always his dream to become a gamer.

“I define my life in two dreams -- one possible and another almost impossible,” said Lira. “One was to be a player, which is difficult because, in Brazilian football, it is difficult to become professional. However, I had pleasant moments that I’ll never forget. But I also had the dream of being a gamer.”

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He added: “It is not the end of a dream. In fact, God has given me the opportunity to have this job as a follow-up in my life, being happy and continuing with that smile.”

According to reports, Lira has already once beaten FIFA Interactive World Champion Abdulaziz Alshehri 6-1.

Here’s a look at the goal which won him fame across the globe:

This article initially appeared on ESPN


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