The self-proclaimed “best football influencer in the world,” Brazilian internet sensation Luva de Padrero, is rich and famous at 20 — but she needs a break from her unpredictable celebrity, she says.
Known for posting videos of his snazzy juggling skills, ecstatic goal celebrations and other football antics – so theatrically over-the-top they’ve won him superstar fans including Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Ronaldinho – Luva, whose real name is Iran Ferreira. In the impoverished rural community of Quijingue in the northeastern state of Bahia.
With football, an outsized personality and an unabashed love for cellphones, he became an overnight sensation in Brazil and beyond, amassing a total of over 40 million followers on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.
But in a story that also speaks to the sometimes brutal world of social networks, weeks after signing what he called “the biggest contract of my career” with Adidas, Luva announced on Tuesday that he was done posting videos online, and Said he wanted to “live my life. A normal life.”
“I’ll finish the work with the brand I’m contracted with, but after that I’m not going to make any more videos,” he said, adding that he had deleted dozens of Instagram posts.
As rumors swirled that the move was a marketing ploy or the result of a rift with his new manager, Brazilian futsal legend Falcao, Luva went back online on Thursday to plead for relief from the spotlight: “I can’t get one. A minute of peace,” he said in an Instagram story.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwOUaZcvSBU” width=”942″ height=”530″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”></iframe> <h4>Incredible energy</h4> <p>The news went viral in Brazil, and even drew comments from Spanish giants Barcelona, who said on TikTok that they will miss Luwa's "incredible energy."</p> <p>Famous for his perpetually black gloves, or "luvas" in Portuguese — hence his nickname — and his favorite catchphrase, "Receba!" — which roughly translates to "take it!" — Luva is perhaps most beloved for his goal celebrations, which led to Bayern Munich's Has inspired the likes of football stars including Serge Gnabry and Joshua Kimmich.Delighted and proud of his work, declared: "I will be an influencer for the rest of my life."</p> <p>He said without giving details that he is on the verge of releasing two new projects. </p> <p>Advisers said they were forced to withdraw due to overload and unexplained personal issues.</p> <p>It came just days after he embarked on a business trip to Europe and Asia.</p> < p>Luwa recently signed a new deal with Falcao following a break-up with his previous manager Alan de Jesus, which ended in a messy court battle.</p> <p><strong>Also read thisLa Liga: Real Madrid return to top with heated win over Atletico Madrid
The price of fame
Luwa’s videos are mostly shot on the dusty football pitches of his home state, where he shows off his skills, clowning around and cracking jokes in rapid-fire slang.
It turned out to be a magical recipe.
A particularly viral video from March 2021 has garnered over 100 million views.
It’s been a life-changing ride for the once-impoverished Luwa, who lives in the posh neighborhood of Recife on Brazil’s northeastern coast and travels the world rubbing shoulders with football royalty.
“Dude, I never expected to make money from this. I thought there was zero future in what I was doing,” he told AFP.
“But thank God, I am enjoying fame and work.”
Clearly, though, it’s not all fun and games.
This is not an uncommon story among new social media stars.
“Young people who enter that world unwillingly, which is the case of Luva de Pedrero, quickly run into the realities of the market, contracts and advertising deals, which are very different from just having fun on social networks,” says Issaf. is Karhawi, author of the book “From Blogger to Influencer”.
“A lot of influencers have to deal with haters, with a cancellation culture, which can create a variety of mental health issues,” she says.
“What happened (with Luva) shows that it’s much more complicated than having millions of followers.”