Bruce Grannec, known to many FIWC players as 'The Machine', recently secured a seat in Madrid for the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2013 Grand Final. The Frenchman is the first player to qualify for the FIWC13 Grand Final through a Territory Showdown.

The France Territory Showdown, held last month in Marseille, saw last year’s national champion (Grannec) joined by the top three French FIWC online players for a tournament to decide which player would qualify for the Grand Final as the French champion. The FIWC caught up with Grannec shortly after he managed to claim a coveted qualification seat in Madrid.

FIWC: Congratulations Bruce on making it to the Grand Final in Madrid. You’re no stranger to competing in live tournaments. What were your thoughts before and during the showdown?
Bruce Grannec:
The final match was a bit stressful because I didn’t know my opponent, but it went well and I was lucky enough to qualify for the Grand Final.

Are you looking forward to a rematch against Alfonso Ramos?
No. Alfonso is the 2012 FIWC champion and he deserved to win. I was a bit disappointed at the time but now that it’s over I’m simply focusing on the upcoming Grand Final. We’ll have to wait and see what will happen, but if we have to play against each other again then I’m sure it will be a thrilling game.

How do you feel about the Grand Final being held in Madrid? Is there anything you want to see or do while you are in the Spanish capital?
The last Grand Final was held in Dubai and I have to say it was absolutely stunning. This year the choice was between three great cities [London, Rome and Madrid] and I am more than happy to see that Madrid was chosen. It’s a city with a real background in terms of both culture and football. I am really looking forward to being able to walk around and explore the city.

The France Territory Showdown was held at Ligue 1 club Marseille's training ground. How did it feel to compete in this professional environment?
It was the first time I have ever been at an elite club’s training ground and I have to say that I was rather impressed. At one point I thought to myself that it must be good to be a footballer at Olympique de Marseille.

At the Territory Showdown you were surprised by Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda. Did Mandanda give you any advice on taking penalties, in case you find yourself in a similar situation to last year’s Final?
Yes he gave me some great advice. He told me to wait for the last moment and choose the side to dive and save. But I’m hoping it won’t come down to penalties this year.

Do you have an aim for this year’s tournament?
I don’t really like to make any targets, but I am hoping to go as far as possible.

Do you have what it takes to join Grannec in Madrid for the FIWC13 Grand Final? The final online qualification season for FIWC13 runs from 1 March to 1 April 2013 . Get involved now and you could be in Madrid! Be sure to follow @FIWC on Twitter and like us on Facebook to ensure that you stay up to date on all the latest FIWC news, photos and videos.