ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – JANUARY 11: Wendell Lira of Brazil and Vila Nova speaks to the audience after receiving the FIFA Puskas Award during the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala 2015 at the Kongresshaus on January 11, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

27-year-old Brazilian striker retires from soccer to follow FIFA eSports career

Wendell Lira was a 27-year-old Brazilian striker who has had a claim to fame for winning the 2015 Puskas Award on a goal like this.

But Lira’s career has been filled with going from team to team, 11 in fact, over his nine year senior career. That plus injuries have resulted Lira to retire from real life soccer and has decided to concentrate on the virtual kind of soccer.

The growth of eSports, particularly within the FIFA video game, has been rapid and it’s still at a point where it’s still early enough to break into the industry under the right circumstances. Lira decided that now is the time to go into his second career, as a professional FIFA gamer and YouTube personality as he chronicles his journey in his new career.

Yeah, people may have joked years ago about making money by playing video games but it’s quickly become a serious business where the top gamers in the world can make a healthy living as well as be recognized worldwide. It’s even caused pro soccer teams to start and sign FIFA gamers in order to market the team as well as play as them in tournaments. Lira hopes to someday win the FIFA Interactive World Cup, a yearly tournament that recognizes the top FIFA gamer around the world.

Lira has apparently got the skills to make a run at a successful career. He took on 2015 World Cup winner Abdulaziz Alshehri and won 6-1. So maybe we will see Wendell Lira with a winners medal in something he didn’t expect to be doing when he started his soccer career.

[Fox Soccer]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @phillipbupp