Adriano de Souza: the 2015 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour champion | Photo: WSL

Adriano de Souza will retire from professional surfing at the end of 2021.

The 2015 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) champion has decided to compete for just one more season at the elite surfing level and say goodbye to the friends he has made.

De Souza was born in Guarujá, Brazil, and started surfing at the age of eight.

By the time he reached 18, he was already considered one of the best surfers in the world as he traveled the globe competing on the prestigious Championship Tour.

Ever since, he has been a trailblazer for Brazil. The genial star won the World Junior title in 2003 and became the Qualifying Series (QS) champion in 2005.

After picking up four CT victories between 2009 and 2013, Adriano de Souza finally got his hands on the sport's most prized trophy with a title victory in 2015 thanks, in part, to two victories in the Billabong Pipe Masters and Margaret River Pro events.

15 Years at the Highest Level

The Brazilian, who also won the 2017 Oi Rio Pro stop, wants to bow out on his own terms after more than 15 years of breathtaking surfing that has inspired millions.

"In the past 15 years, I gave my life to surfing, with high dedication, and I lived the surfing in a 1000 percent way," revealed the 33-year-old.

"Competing without passion is not a champion attitude, and it doesn't match the energy of the sport.

"I want to celebrate these past 15 years. During this time, I built relationships around the whole world, with beloved ones, and developed a strong connection with family, friends and fans."

"I want to spread a message of a new light on my path. With a competition jersey, I was always focused on great results because I'm a world champion."

"But I wanted to do some things I've always imagined, like participating in special events without less pressure and go on a surf trip with friends."

Fellow Brazilians Gabriel Medina (2014, 2018) and Italo Ferreira (2019) have also won the world title while - along with legend Carlos Burle - he has helped inspire talented compatriots such as Lucas Chianca, Lucas Fink, Mateus Herdy, Nicole Pacelli, and Pedro Vianna.

But De Souza, whose trademark move is boosting airs, has plans for the future.

"My goal is to complete the whole CT in 2021 because I have so many friends, and I don't want to say a 'half-goodbye,'" he concluded.

"My expectations are high right now, especially for Saquarema, where I believe it will be intense. This 'goodbye' vibe will give me good energy."

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