Wendell Lira blames Puskas Award trip for club woes


Puskas Award winner Wendell Lira has blamed attending January's FIFA ceremony in Zurich for derailing his career with Vila Nova.

Wendell succeeded Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez and beat Lionel Messi to the prize, which recognises the outstanding goal in world football each year, thanks to a stunning overhead kick for Goianesia against Atletico Goianiense.

The 27-year-old subsequently moved to Vila Nova via Tombense, where he has started three games and made a total of nine appearances over the course of five months.

Wendell told UOL Esporte that his contract is to be terminated this week, despite being due to run until the end of 2016, and claimed heading to the FIFA gala had a detrimental impact on his pre-season preparations with the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie B club.

"I'm in Vila Nova, just not playing," he said. "Because of the awards [happening during] the pre-season it took me a while to get in shape."

Wendell added that, at present, he has no offers on the table to join another Brazilian club. Vila Nova are yet to confirm the player's departure