Footballer who beat out Lionel Messi for Goal of the Year Award retires to focus on becoming a soccer eSports champion

Wendell Lira, a Brazilian soccer player who once beat Lionel Messi for a Goal of the Year Award, has announced he will retire in order to pursue a passion of his: becoming the world’s best FIFA video game player.

Lira beat Messi and AS Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi for the famed Ferenc Puskas Award in 2015, which is awarded every year to the scorer of the year’s best goal. Here’s a video of Lira’s winning goal:

But now, according to FOX Sports, Lira will be retiring to pursue another passion of his: video games. He cited growing injury problems as the real reason that he’s leaving the world of soccer, but he’ll be able to continue living vicariously in that world through his favourite game, EA’s FIFA franchise.

According to Bleacher Report, Lira’s actually quite good at FIFA, as he resides at the top of the South American leaderboard. Also, after winning the Puskas Award, Lira was challenged by¬†2015 FIFA Interactive World Cup winner Abdulaziz Alshehri to a game of FIFA, which Lira handily won by the score of 6-1.

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