Wendell Lira, a 27-year-old player for the Brazilian soccer club Goianésia, is retiring to play the “FIFA” video game full-time, according to Brazilian soccer news site GloboEsporte.com.
Many of us would also like to announce our retirements to focus on playing “FIFA.” But unless you’re really, really good at it, it’s probably a terrible idea.
Good thing, then, that Lira is really, really good at “FIFA.”
On November 6, 2015, Lira took on the “FIFA” world champion at the time, a Saudi Arabian gamer named Abdulaziz Alshehri, in a match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Playing as Real Madrid, Lira won the digital rendition of “El Classico” (the name given to games between Real Madrid and Barecelona).
However, he didn’t just win. He thrashed Alshehri 6-1.
To top things off, Lira would also receive the prestigious 2015 FIFA Puskás Award for the best (real) goal of the year on the same night as his victory over the best “FIFA” player in the world. If you haven’t seen the goal yet, you should. It’s embedded here below, and it’s exquisite.
Lira’s dream now is to “become World Champion FIFA.” Yet, unfortunately for him, that fateful game with Alshehri was only considered a friendly that didn’t count towards official “FIFA” world rankings. For that title, Lira will have to compete in the official FIFA Interactive World Cup tournaments where the best “FIFA” players battle it out for the coveted top spot.
Lira also told GloboEsporte.com that he’s starting up his YouTube channel where he’ll “show my gamer side to people and take it to the world.”
Indeed, the “FIFA” video game is becoming more than just a video game you play with your mates in your living room. According to Engadget, clubs like Manchester City, West Ham, FC Schalke 04 and Vfl Wolfsburg are starting to sign eSports “FIFA” players who will wear the their team’s respective jerseys during tournaments.
It wouldn’t be all that surprising if soccer and “FIFA” fans alike begin watching the eSports version soccer in the near future.