Meet Wendell Lira, Fifa Puskás award winner 2015. My guess is you still haven’t heard or know anything about this gentleman.
The Puskás award is an award given to the most aesthetically significant, or “most beautiful”, goal of the year.
It is one category that doesn’t involve segregation. No matter the match in which it was scored, the person who scored (whether female/male), whether it was scored in a non- league match or in the elite leagues.
Whether it was scored in Papau New Guinea , Vanuatu or Germany so far as there is a clip of it, if it is good it would be selected and would be judged by voting from national team managers and captains.
A lot of the goals that are shortlisted for the award are insanely good. They are scored with unbelievable techniques and brilliant precision that always leave you gobsmacked.
Wendell Lira is a professional footballer who plies his trade in Brazil (the spiritual home of football) and he scored a magnificent goal which required so much skill and technique to pull of his spinning- bicycle kick. Scoring a bicycle kick is always special but to spin and execute it to perfection and scoring as a result will always be one added to the montage of highlight reels.
Wendell scored that spectacular goal for his then club Goianesia on 11 March 2015.
But we all know how life likes to play cruel jokes and this time Wendell was on the butt end of one as he was released by his club and was unattached.
Then it was announced that his goal was selected to be part of the ten Puskás awards finalists.
And guess what? The very next day (not 3 days or a week later) he received an offer from his current club Vila Nova and just like that his life changed.
Wendell Lira had always dreamed of meeting the Brazilian soccer icon Neymar but his dream was even made better as he got to not only meet Neymar but other footballing greats both past and present.
He got to stand on the podium which many people would kill for and his goal even beat Lionel Messi’s outrageous solo goal, winning 46.7% of the more than 1.6 million votes cast since November.
The magical little hobbit Messi who was adjudged the best footballer of 2015 said “The fact is it’s a great goal and he deserved it. The award is in good hands”.
It doesn’t get any better than such an endorsing statement from the G.O.A.T
Now before the ceremony Lira never signed an autograph while walking the red carpet because nobody wanted one as he was an unknown entity but after receiving his award with teary eyes there’s was a rush for his signature.
The most wonderful part of this ‘rise to glory’ story is that, on the rainy day that he scored that goal in front of a meagre number of 297 spectators and someone uploaded the video on Youtube and the rest they say is history.
He wasn’t playing at a packed Colosseum or the Maracanara (the largest stadium in the Brazil 78,838 capacity) or the Camp Nou (biggest in Europe 99,786 capacity).
He was doing his thing in front of a small number of spectators who couldn’t even fill a quarter of the stadium but he produced his best and it took just one person to upload and he caught fire.
So it doesn’t matter the wilderness you find yourself doing what you do, just keep on giving your best in preparation for that one moment because just like Lira it only takes one person to broadcast you and who knows how far you can go.
We shouldn’t look at the stage on which we are on and reduce our effort or be discouraged but instead use it as a preparation ground in waiting for our “Lira” moment.
If you are good at what you do you would surely come to light and remember when OPPORTUNITY meets PREPARATION there’s an EXPLOSION.
It only takes one person for your “Lira” moment.
Don’t forget to give Mama a shout out when you make it and holla @ your homies.
And oh, don’t forget your haters [everybody seems to have one these days].