The FIWC13 Grand Final is just a few days away! In Madrid, from 6-8 May, the world’s top 21 EA SPORTS™ FIFA 13 gamers will compete for the FIFA Interactive World Cup title. The 2013 world champion will walk away with USD20,000 in prize money and a trip for two to the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala. While we wait for kick-off on 6 May, takes a look at the numbers behind the world’s largest gaming tournament.

71 matches over three days, that’s the schedule for the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2013 Grand Final in Madrid. The three-day tournament will take 21 players through the highs and lows of competing at the highest level. It’s not all tense gameplay though. During their stay in Madrid the Grand Finalists will get to enjoy some of the best sights and activities that the Spanish capital has to offer.

36 regulation time goals have been scored in the eight gold medal finals to date for the FIFA Interactive World Cup. Dutchman Andries Smit’s 6-4 win over Wolfgang Meier in 2006 remains the most goals scored at a Final to date, even overshadowing the penalty shoot-out between Alfonso Ramos and Bruce Grannec at the FIWC12 Final which saw 7 of 14 penalties converted before a champion was crowned.

20 The current average age of a FIWC champion. Edizon Quiroga, a 33-year-old physical education teacher from Colombia, will be looking to shatter this statistic in Madrid. What does the Colombian Ryan Giggs attribute his razor-sharp performance too? Yoga perhaps? “Before a game I close my eyes for a second and think about the victory, I just think about winning,” says Quiroga, “I also have no food intake two hours before playing, only liquids, as this guarantees my brain will be at 100 per cent focus.”

16 year-old Francisco Cruz became the youngest player to ever win the FIWC at Los Angeles 2011. Some predicted Cruz’s ascent as far back as 2009 when the then diminutive 14-year-old showed up amongst the Grand Finalists at Barcelona 2009. Shortly before the 2009 tournament kicked off a journalist asked the youngest ever Grand Finalist how he rated his chances. Older players laughed when the Portuguese responded with a short, matter-of-fact "I am here to win." Cruz would leave Barcelona with the third place medal and two years later, having sprouted to over 6 feet tall, a confident Francisco would demolish Colombia’s Javier Munoz 4-1 in the city of angels to win FIWC11.

15 Despite finishing third, Kai Wollin scored 15 goals at FIWC12 making him the top scorer for the tournament. The German laid down a marker in this opening match, defeating veteran Alfonso Ramos 3-1. Ramos would exact his revenge when the pair met again in the semi-final and knock Kai out with a 2-0 win. Kai’s performance in Dubai makes him a favourite for the Madrid Grand Final.

13 countries have been represented at the FIWC Gold Medal Final. Spain, USA and France are the only nations to have made it to more than one of the nine finals. FIWC13 will see 12 countries represented at the FIWC13 Grand Final.

9 Madrid will host the ninth edition of the FIFA Interactive World Cup. The virtual world cup has been hosted in exotic locals such as Berlin, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and Dubai. The 2013 edition will be held in the Spanish capital and will see an unprecedented five Spanish Grand Finalists compete on home soil for the title.

7 Grand Final appearances and two world titles make defending champion Alfonso Ramos the most decorated virtual footballer in FIWC history. The Spanish two-time champion (2008, 2012) is the first player to ever achieve an FIWC double and has managed to qualify for every Grand Final since 2006.

5 Grand Finalists for FIWC13 were involved in the quarter-finals for the 2012 tournament in Dubai. Alfonso Ramos and Bruce Grannec are the most decorated of the group with three world titles and 11 Grand Final appearances between them. Also returning to the Grand Final are FIWC12 semi-finalist Kai Wollin and 2012 quarterfinalists Krasimir Ivanov (Bulgaria) and Abdulaziz Alshehri (Saudi Arabia). August Rosenmeier (Denmark) and Ovidiu Patrascu (Romania) return to FIWC13 after failing to make it past the group stage in Dubai. In total, 7 of the 2012 Grand Finalists have qualified for Madrid.

4 FIWC13 will be Bruce Grannec’s fourth Grand Final appearance. The Frenchman has finished on the winner’s podium on all three previous outings. Bruce took gold in 2009, bronze in 2010 and silver in 2012. Dubbed The Machine, Grannec is renowned for his ice-cool temperament under pressure but will have to overcome the memory of his penalty shoot-out defeat to Ramos in the 2012 final if he wants to equal the Spaniard’s titles record.

3 Kai Wollin, the third place finisher at FIWC12, won the recent Germany Territory Showdown ensuring that the Top 3 for FIWC12 return for the Grand Final in 2013. Winning FIWC12 secured Ramos a seat in Madrid. Grannec, meanwhile, successfully defended his French national title in Marseille to win a ticket to Madrid.

2.5 million players registered and competed in qualification for FIWC13. “When I won in 2008 I think there were maybe 100,000 players,” says defending champion Ramos, “It’s become so very hard.” Over 1.3 million tried to win a seat at Dubai 2012 and the Madrid edition has surpassed even that incredible number, with over 2.5 million virtual footballers having competed for a seat at the FIWC13 Grand Final.

1 penalty save was what ultimately catapulted Ramos to his second world title while simultaneously sending Bruce Grannec crashing out of the spotlight. The 2012 Gold Medal Final was as close as it gets. After 120 minutes, a 0-0 scoreline, a 47 (Ramos) to 53 (Grannec) percent split in possession and 11 shots on goal in total, it came down to penalties. 12 penalties later, locked at 3-3, Ramos called upon the virtual talents of Jose Callejon to slot his seventh penalty home. Grannec came within a whisker of doing the same with the Real Madrid No. 21, only to see Ramos pull of a top corner saves with Casillas to win the shoot-out and with it USD20,000 in prize money, a trip to the FIFA Ballon d’Or and the coveted FIWC title.