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Photo by Pedro Zenkl

Wendell Lira joins Sporting CP

By Sporting CP
12 Nov, 2019

The player is now part of the esports team

Wendell Lira is the latest signing by Sporting CP's esports section. After signing his contract this Tuesday, the most recent Lion got to know the Clubs infrastructures. 

Having leaped into the spotlight after winning the 2015 FIFA Puskás Award, Wendell Lira left his football career to pursue a career in esports. He now joins Sporting CP to be part of the team which already counts with Bruno Rato and Diogo Mendes.

"Since I was a child, I have had the dream of playing in Europe. Unfortunately I couldn't make that dream come true as a football player. For a long time I thought I would never make it come true. I have to thank a lot of people. My story is different from many. When I was at José Alvalade Stadium I looked at the pitch and thought of everything I went through. I never gave up and I'm living a dream".

Miguel Albuquerque, Director of Other Sports at Sporting CP, began by talking about Wendell Lira's past: "Wendell Lira had a career in football and won the Puskás prize in 2015 with a goal that is stil in everyones memory. This goal beat other players like Lionel Messi. However, in 2016, a serious injury knocked him out of the competition, having led him to his most recent passion; esports and especially FIFA. In Sporting CP, this section is growing. Other clubs in Portugal are entering esports and the FPF is now looking at the game in a completely different way" he said.

"This is one of our bets and is based on three fundamental points. Firstly, to be able to enhance Sporting CPs brand. The videogames market is very wide and being in this market allows us to take the Sporting CP brand around the world and in new ways. Secondly, esports are a sustainable project. It is a project that we work hard on a commercial and self-sustainability point of view. Finally, it allows us to reach a generation that we all call the 'generation Z'. I think we have managed to reconcile both things: sports and esports," he said.

Finally, Miguel Albuquerque stressed that Wendell Lira has a history of  being able to overcome difficulties, similar to other big figures in our Club. "This bet on Wendell Lira makes us grow. He is currently one of Brazil's best players in FIFA and a major influencer. He has a YouTube channel with over 500,000 subscribers and has become a worldwide icon. As of today, we count on him and wish him all the best. He never stopped believing in his goal", he said.

Wendell also visited the Sporting Museum, went to our Loja Verde (Stadium Store) and became a member of Sporting CP.

The first performance for Sporting CP will take place between the15th and 17th of November at the FPF XL Challenge, a tournament organized by the Portuguese Football Federation at the Altice Arena.