It’s not every day you get to meet a host of the world’s top footballers, attend the FIFA Ballon d’Or and take on Brazil star Marta at a game of EA SPORTS™ FIFA 14, but that’s exactly the day FIFA Interactive World Cup 2013 winner Bruce Grannec of France has just lived.
Grannec, known as “The Machine”, beat Mexico’s Andrei Torres Vivero in the gold medal match of the FIWC 2013 Grand Final, held in Madrid last year, to be crowned world champion out of a record 2.5 million participants. As part of his prize, the two-time champion was one of the stars on show at the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2013 and was presented with his championship certificate by Borussia Dortmund manager and 2013 FIFA World Coach of the Year nominee Jurgen Klopp.
In Rio de Janeiro in July, Grannec will try to claim an unprecedented third FIWC title at the Grand Final. The FIWC 2014 Grand Final, the tenth edition of the event, marks the first time ever that the Grand Final will take place in the host nation of the FIFA World Cup™.
Shoulder to shoulder with Messi
A bullish Grannec met four-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi prior to the FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremony and took the opportunity to challenge La Pulga to a game of FIFA 14 if they both win in Brazil this summer. "I said to him [Messi], ‘I’ll see you in Brazil’," said Grannec, "We have similar goals. My aim is to win the FIWC in Brazil and his is to win the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. We both have a long journey ahead of us. He was very nice but I’d still rather France won the World Cup.”
Marta against the Machine
During his pre-ceremony press conference, Grannec was challenged on stage by five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta to a virtual classic, France vs. Brazil. Grannec met a host of footballing legends throughout the evening, including Pele and Zinedine Zidane. “To win the FIWC for the second time was an incredible feeling and to be able to come to the Ballon d’Or is just crazy," said Grannec. "When I first started playing competitively I never would have dreamed that this would even be possible.”
The FIWC is organised by FIFA and its presenting partners EA SPORTS™ and Sony PlayStation® and is recognised by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest online gaming tournament. It is an official FIFA tournament that gives football fans the chance to live out their passion for football and to interact with other fans around the world. Participants from every continent battle it out to qualify for the Grand Final, where the FIWC champion is crowned and receives $20,000 USD in prize money and a trip for two to the FIFA Ballon d’Or.
The online tournament takes place on the PlayStation Network and can be accessed through the latest version of EA SPORTS™ FIFA 14 on PS3. For more information on the FIWC, go to: www.fifa.com/fiwc, www.twitter.com/fiwc, or www.facebook.com/fiwc