FIFA, EA AND PLAYSTATION CROWN FIFA INTERACTIVE WORLD PLAYER 2008
Spain’s Alfonso Ramos Triumphs Over Michael Ribeiro Of New Jersey
In FIFA’s Global Soccer Videogame Tournament
Geneva, Switzerland and London, UK, May 26, 2008 – Berlin played host to intense soccer action, as the virtual soccer season came to an explosive end at the FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) Final at the Sony Centre on Saturday. Thirty-two of the world’s best interactive soccer players met face to face to compete for the ultimate title of FIFA Interactive World Player 2008. Following an incredible display of tactics and skill on EA SPORTS™ FIFA Soccer 08 on PLAYSTATION®3, Alfonso Ramos beat Michael Ribeiro from New Jersey 3-1 in front of a cheering crowd, securing the title and the $20,000 US prize money. Ramos also received an invitation to attend the FIFA World Player Gala in Zurich on January 12, 2009 where he will rub shoulders with real life soccer heroes.
A fantastic day of soccer culminated in the two best players facing off for what turned out to be a nail biting final full of world class skill and great emotion. The game got off to an electric start as Ramos’ Barcelona side took the lead with a beautiful header and he solidified his dominance with a decisive finish early in the second half. Ribeiro, also playing as Barcelona, responded emphatically with a classy goal to bring the score back to 2-1, but Ramos showed his determination and with less than ten minutes to go, restored his 2-goal lead. Ribeiro came back strongly but in the end Ramos’ defense proved too strong and the game finished 3-1.
The third and fourth playoff was contested between Brazil’s Andre Casagrande Buffo and Austria’s Dominik Posch. In a closely fought encounter, the Austrian came out on top with a 2-1 victory.
“I came here to do my best but really didn’t believe I would make it this far. It’s been an absolutely fantastic day – to test myself against the world’s best virtual soccer gamers is what this tournament is all about,” said Alfonso Ramos.” I’m really proud to be the first Spaniard to be crowned FIFA Interactive World Player and look forward to defending my title next year.”
As the sun was setting over Berlin, 20,500 spectators shared the excitement of the biggest virtual soccer event which provided the very best in real and virtual sporting action. Adding to the buzz were appearances by German hip-hop artist Das Bo. Anthony Baffoe, a former Ghanaian international and the first African player in the German Bundesliga co-hosted the event.
"The FIFA Interactive World Cup Grand Final was a marvelous event. It featured everything that a FIFA World Cup event should have: fair-play, excitement, a sense of fun social happening mixed with world-class soccer action. In my opinion, all the gamers who participated in Berlin have many things in common with those who display their skills at any other FIFA World Cup. They obviously were dedicated in training for the event, they were focused and determined individuals and their skills have made them the best in the world. I offer my congratulations to everyone who took part”, said Thierry Weil, FIFA’s Marketing Director.
“Congratulations to Alfonso Ramos, the fourth FIFA Interactive World Player of the Year, who impressed us all with his skills,” said Romain Rossi, Marketing Director, EA SPORTS. “This tournament is a fantastic demonstration of the passion we all hold as soccer fans and has really managed to bring the emotion of the real game to the virtual world. It’s been a great season and together FIFA and PlayStation we cannot wait to see the kick-off of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2009 later this year.”
”This year has been the first year PlayStation has been involved in the FIFA Interactive World Cup and it has very much lived up to all of our expectations,” said Darren Carter, Vice President of Consumer Marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. “This tournament has truly highlighted the wonderful technology of PS3, where real soccer and virtual soccer are closer than ever before, as well as the fantastic connectivity provided by the PLAYSTATION®Network. We look forward to continuing our partnership with EA and FIFA in the years to come and heartily congratulate Alfonso on his tremendous win.”
This year’s Grand Final marks the end of the fourth annual FIFA Interactive World Cup, which saw seven months of intense competition on the virtual soccer pitches of EA SPORTS™ FIFA Soccer 08 on PLAYSTATION®3. Players spanning the globe from Australia to South Africa, Brazil to Korea to the USA and Italy dribbled and scored their way through the tournament’s 20 live qualifiers, while over 25,000 players competed in the online leg. Only the 32 best players were invited to the Grand Final, to take part in the ultimate battle for interactive football supremacy.
For more information on the FIFA Interactive World Cup, including a list of the 32 finalists, please go to www.FIFA.com/fiwc