The 2011 FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) winner, Francisco Cruz, yesterday lived every football fan’s dream as he attended the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala and met a host of the world’s top footballers, including Wayne Rooney and Gerard Piqué.
Francisco bettered 869,543 players at FIFA ‘11 in last year’s FIWC to take home the coveted $20,000 prize and win an invite to the FIFA Ballon d’Or, where he played FIFA ‘12 against the Manchester United and FC Barcelona superstars.
The FIWC is a virtual football tournament organised by FIFA and its presenting partners EA SPORTS and PlayStation, giving football fans the chance to live out their passion for football and to interact with other fans around the world.
Players compete against each other at the latest version of the EA SPORTS FIFA videogame to qualify for the Grand Final, where the FIWC World Champion is crowned. The online tournament takes place on the PlayStation Network and can be accessed through FIFA ‘12.
Portugal met England at the FIFA Ballon d’Or, as Francisco took on Wayne Rooney at a game of FIFA ‘12. Francisco’s native Portugal emerged comfortable 3-0 winners as Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice, with one of his goals being an unstoppable free kick that Joe Hart in the England goal stood no chance of saving. Finally the victory was sealed when midfield dynamo Raul Meireles added the third goal.
Prior to the match Francisco benefitted from speaking with football legend Sir Alex Ferguson, who gave him some advice on how to deal with big game pressure and get results.
Commenting on the match Francisco said, “It’s a dream playing against one of my favourite players. It’s a new experience and I would like to do it again next year, he is a good player. He kept possession of the ball well with England but he could not transfer that into goal scoring opportunities. He said he was the best FIFA ‘12 player at Manchester United and I believe him as he was very good. I had some good chances and I scored, but he could have scored one or two goals.”
Although Rooney was convincingly beaten by the FIWC World Champion he maintains he is the best player at Manchester United but admitted that Francisco would be able to beat all his teammates.
Rooney also added: “I play as much as I can. I think it’s a great game and something that I enjoy doing. There is quite a bit of banter when I play against my teammates, we all want to win so it gets very competitive.”
In comparison, Spanish sensation Piqué did well to only trail Francisco by 1-0, joking: “Wayne lost 3-0 [to Francisco], so I am better than him at FIFA ’12!”