Fall From Grace or Rebirth? Award Winning Professional Footballer to Professional FIFA Player in 6 Months

Wendell Lira, relatively unknown professional soccer player applied is trade in Brazil over a nearly 10 year career had his moment of glory when he upset Lionel Messi and took home the 2015 FIFA Puskas Award, which is given out to the player who scored the best goal in world football.

But, just a mere 6 months later he has hung up his boots and them exchanged for a controller. That’s right, not even a year after taking home the prestigious honor he has elected to become a professional FIFA player and start his own YouTube channel to put his skills on display…. Now this doesn’t sound like the most glamorous career move, sort of like the kid who was the best at sports in your high school and you come home after college and realize he’s shacking up in his mom’s basement surrounded by Mountain Dew and has permanent headset hair.

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However, considering he waxed the current #1 FIFA player 6-1 earlier this year it may not be a terrible decision, especially when you consider he relatively “meh” career numbers:

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It’s probably not an awesome sign when you have 6 career goals and 3 teams you played for were like “uh, shit we have no idea how many games he played/goals he scored.”

Lira sited injuries and the “lies” involved in professional soccer for some of the reasons behind the move, however I would also like to add “not being very good” to that list.

The winner of the FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) takes home a grand prize of $20,000 dollars, which doesn’t seem like enough to entice anyone with actual career prospects. But when you consider the rise in eSports (can’t believe that’s a real term), with ESPN showing championships and bros out there getting oxygen while playing Street Fighter paired with the fact FIFA is the most popular game on the planet there may be some monetary growth in competition coming soon.

Lira missed out on his big chance to join AC Milan a decade ago and apparently isn’t going to let another “tremendous opportunity” pass him by.

Go get ’em Wendell, and I’m ready to take you down any time.