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Wendell Lira retires from football to play videogames

Brazilian Wendell Lira, who beat Lionel Messi to win FIFA's coveted Puskas Award for 2015's best goal, has retired from football to concentrate on videogames

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Brazilian footballer Wendell Lirawinner of the Puskas Prize for FIFA’s best goal of 2015, announced on Thursday that he is retiring from football to dedicate himself to playing videogames through his YouTube channel.

The player was received as a hero in his hometown, Santa Genoveva, after winning the award in a FIFA poll last year, in which his goal beat off competition from Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi.

“The project is to set up a YouTube channel,” Lira said in an interview with Globo TV before an event in Porto Alegre. “Seriously, I’ve always seen videogames as something important. I was always passionate about football, but before that I had videogames. They form part of my life.”

"I want to show myself for who I really am"

Lira, who retires at the young age of 27-years old, said his decision had surprised directors of football who still call him with offers. “I want to show myself for who I am and not sell out. It’s something emotional, and real that I can identify with and I want to show people things that they never imagined.”

Injuries, and the “lies and dirtiness” of football resulted in Lira’s disillusionment with the game, who played during the season for Brazilian Serie B side Vila Nova.

"My dream is to become FIFA world champion"

In the world of videogames, and the popular game of ‘FIFA’ in particular, Lira has already found success. He is currently the regional champion of Goiás, has led the South America leaderboard on several occasions, and has also beaten the current world champion, Abdulaziz Alshehri.

"My dream now is to become world FIFA champion, and I want to dedicate myself to getting that title," he said.