Final line-up named for the FIFA Interactive World Cup Grand Final
© FIFA.com

After months of qualification, the 20 players who will represent their nations at the FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) Grand Final have been named.

1,997,689 players from all round the world attempted to qualify for Rio de Janeiro’s Grand Final and ten different nations will be represented on 2 and 3 July. Players from the likes of Brazil, Romania, France and the Republic Ireland will clash for the chance to be named FIWC World Champion, win USD 20,000 and an invitation to the FIFA Ballon d’Or to rub shoulders with the best footballers in the world.

The 20 finalists will travel to Rio de Janeiro as part of a dream three-day trip courtesy of FIFA and Presenting Partners EA SPORTS™ and Sony PlayStation. As well as competing, they will be taking in the Rio sights, meeting football legends, and will take part in an exclusive trip to the Maracana, where they will watch one of the FIFA World Cup™ quarter-finals.

This year marks the tenth edition of the FIWC and is the first year the FIWC Grand Final is to be held in the same country and at the same time as the FIFA World Cup. In light of this a Grand Final space was reserved for a Brazilian player and Rafael Fortes, a student from Rio de Janeiro, qualified through April’s Brazil Qualifier and will proudly represent his nation.

Speaking ahead of the Grand Final, Brazilian qualifier Rafael said: “It is a dream come true and I feel honoured to be Brazil’s representative. I am now going to train day and night to ensure I do Brazil proud at the FIWC Grand Final.”

The players will be divided into four groups of five with the winners and runners-up qualifying for the knockout rounds. Should they progress, players will then have to navigate the quarter and semi-finals before the ultimate final showdown. The tournament will be played on the 2014 FIFA World Cup game and each finalist will pick first and second-choice teams ensuring no match-ups will feature the same two sides. Higher ranked players will have the advantage of being able to use their first choice should the situation arise.

Ralph Straus, FIFA’s Head of Strategy and Brand Management, said: “We’re all especially excited about this year’s FIWC, as this is the first time that the Grand Final will take place in the same country as the FIFA World Cup. As ever the line-up is very strong and it will be fascinating to see the best players in the world go head-to-head. This year’s event is more accessible than ever with our strong social media presence supported by a live stream of the event available to fans all over the world.”

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 and more than 5,000,000 players have taken part since 2009. 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.

The online tournament takes place on the PlayStation Network and can be accessed through the latest version of EA SPORTS™ FIFA 14 on PS3.

Full list of qualifiers:
Adam Johnston (Republic of Ireland)
Adrien Viaud (France)
Alban Xhemajli (Netherlands)
Anders Bollerup (Denmark)
August Rosenmeier (Denmark)
Bruce Grannec (France)
David Bytheway (England)
Farid Diffallah (France)
Irving Velasques (Mexico)
Johan Simon (France)
Jorrick Boshove (Netherlands)
Julien Dassonville (France)
Krasimir Ivanov (Bulgaria)
Marian Avram (Romania)
Michael Ribeiro (USA)
Ovidiu Patrascu (Romania)
Rafael Fortes (Brazil)
Steven van de Vorst (Netherlands)
Tihomir Kolev (Bulgaria)
Ty Walton (England)