For Alfonso Ramos, 2012 was a year of significant achievements both as a La Roja and Real Madrid fan and as a virtual footballer.

Ramos made history earlier this year when he became the first player to win the FIFA Interactive World Cup for a second time. With FIWC13 freshly underway, we caught up with Alfonso to discuss the year ahead, the choice of Madrid for the next Grand Final and his expectations for the next virtual World Cup. Alfonso, you’ve been competing in the FIWC for quite some time. What is the most exciting part of the FIWC for you personally?
Ramos: FIWC is exciting in every way. It is always a pleasure to meet old and new faces, to be part of the experience, to take part in all the activities and of course, the opportunity to compete against other players for the crown of best FIFA player.

How do you prepare yourself mentally for an online qualification season?
Mentally you need to be very strong. However, if you lose one game it doesn't matter. You should never give up because this is what football is like, sometimes you cannot win every game, but you will get another chance to win again.

Have you got any strategies in place for FIWC13?
At the moment I am testing all the teams, formations and tactics to see which team is the best to win the FIWC again.

How many hours do you spend practicing before an online season commences?
I don't usually practice before an online season. Instead I train during the season because each game makes you improve your abilities, so that you are more prepared for the next one.

What is your favourite feature of the new FIFA 13 game?
I love the new free kicks. I love the set pieces and this new feature gives me the chance to create a lot of chances to score from a free kick. It’s a fantastic game, the FIFA 12 experience has been improved and each year the connection to real football increases.

Are there any competitors that you’re watching out for in FIWC13?
There are a lot of good players this year, although I think we will see some of the well-known faces like Buffo, Ty Walton and Grannec again.

Do you have any good luck charms for when you’re playing?
Before a game, I usually listen to my favourite band and I also try to analyze my opponents. I try to see their last games so that I am aware of their gameplay and can figure out a strategy to counteract it. Whilst I am playing though, I focus wholly on the game. The only thing that I always do during a game is when I score a goal, I shout, “Vamos!”

What does it mean to be crowned FIWC champion?
It's a great honour to be crowned the best FIFA Player in the whole world. This time was very special, as I am the first player to be crowned two times, so I am very proud of making history in the FIWC.

The fans have chosen Madrid to host the FIWC13 Grand Final. How do you feel about Madrid being chosen to host this year’s Grand Final? What advantage, if any, do you think this will have for you?
I'm very glad that the FIWC Grand Final will be held in Madrid. I believe it will make me stronger. I really want to achieve a FIWC hat trick! I will also have the support from the spectators that will be there, as well as from my friends, who will be present at the Grand Final.

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