Glentoran striker Matty Burrows is hoping that his worldwide status will help him to secure a deal with a lower league Spanish club after taking the decision to move to the Mediterranean sunshine.
Burrows will jet off on Sunday to begin a new life on the Costa Blanca after admitting that he finds Northern Ireland, particularly the weather, “depressing sometimes”.
The 24 year old became an internet phenomenon last year when his stunning 16 yard back heeled volley against Portadown at the Oval was viewed on YouTube by a million people in a matter of days. The clip has now been seen well over five million times.
Such was the impact that the goal had, Burrows was nominated by Fifa for the Puskas Award for World Goal of the Year, placing the modest Bangor man alongside such footballing megastars as Lionel Messi, Arjen Robben and Samir Nasri.
Turkish star Altintop picked up the award but Burrows won praise for his sublime strike from the likes of Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo at the glitzy Balon d'Or event in Zurich in January.
Now Burrows is set for another journey onto the continent and he has his fingers crossed that he can carve out a football career on the Spanish coast.
“I head off with my girlfriend on Sunday and I can't wait to be honest,” he said. “My mum and dad have a house there so that's where we will be living and it is something that I had been thinking about for a while.
“We went out on holiday and I was probably about 90 per cent sure I was going to do it but it was leaving Glentoran that was the only thing stopping me.
“In the end I just felt that it was the right time to do it, while I am still young.”
He added: “It's a lifestyle choice more than anything. Waking up with the sun shining and hitting about 40 degrees is enough to make anyone want to stay there. Home's home but it can be a bit depressing sometimes here. Look at the weather!
“I'm just looking forward to getting out there and start looking for a club. I haven't got any contacts or anything but I know of a few clubs locally and I will be getting in touch with them straight away.
“I want to keep playing and Scott (Young) has kept hold of my registration in case I change my mind but at the same time he said he will release me when I get a club.”
Burrows had become something of a cult hero at the Oval during his short time at the club and he wanted to say thank you to supporters for all the backing they gave him.
“I'll miss being at Glentoran and I have to say thank you to the fans because ever since I first came to the Glens they really took to me and I really appreciated that,” he admitted.
“When I first arrived I didn't get much game time under Alan McDonald and I went out on loan but the fans were calling for me to come back and and they have always been right behind me. I'll never forget that support.”