- Since 2004, eWorld Cup champions have met the world’s top footballers
- Grannec: “I never dreamed that something like this was possible”
- A look back at the highlights with FIFA.com
Since the inaugural version of the FIFA Interactive World Cup in 2004 (or the FIFA eWorld Cup™ as it has been known since last year), every winner has been given the opportunity to meet some of the most famous football stars in the world, either at the FIFA World Player Gala, the FIFA Ballon d’Or and – since 2016 – at The Best FIFA Football Awards™.
Here are some of the highlights enjoyed by champions of the past.
2004: First FIFA Interactive World Cup champion
The first ever champion – Thiago Carrico de Azevedo, from Brazil – was honoured on stage alongside Ronaldinho and Birgit Prinz at the FIFA World Player Gala. This was the beginning of an experience that money cannot buy (even if the champion also receives prize money) for the winner of the FIFA eWorld Cup, or FIFA Interactive World Cup as it was known then.
2008: Challenging a top footballer on the console
After securing his first title in 2008, Alfonso Ramos was given his winner’s certificate from Fernando Torres. After that, he got to challenge Kaka amongst others on the console, as well as meeting stars including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Xavi.
2011: 17-year-old rubs shoulders with the stars
Francisco Cruz, who was just 17 at the time, got to play EA Sports FIFA against Wayne Rooney and Gerard Pique, as well as getting his photo taken with Sir Alex Ferguson, Nemanja Vidic, Messi (his favourite player) and plenty of other big names. “He is a really good player and I had to give it my all against him,” said Cruz after the match against Rooney. “At the end of the day I won 3-0 but it was a tight game.”
2013: Legends, coaches and top players
Bruce Grannec was part of the official Ballon d’Or press conference and received his certificate from Jurgen Klopp. He then challenged Marta on the console and she showed off her FIFA skills, holding the champ to a goalless draw. Grannec also got to meet Zinedine Zidane, Pele, Cristiano Ronaldo and other guests at the Award Show, saying: “When I started to play FIFA competitively, I never dreamed that something like this was possible”.