On 24 April, eight of Brazil’s best EA SPORTS™ FIFA 14 gamers will face off on the virtual football pitch at the Host Country Qualification event for the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2014. The Grand Prize at the live qualification event is priceless – the chance to represent Brazil at the FIWC 2014 Grand Final during the 2014 FIFA World Cup™!

All eight finalists are at the highest level of virtual skill, having qualified for the event in Online Seasons 5 and 6 of the FIWC 2014. FIFA.com spoke to the first four Brazilians to secure their place at the 24 April event.

Fortaleza's champion
“At the qualifier I will try to play as well as past champions of the FIFA Interactive World Cup,” says 20-year-old Carlos Filho from Fortaleza. “I think the chance of winning is the same for all the finalists. If you are really good you can be a champion in any situation.”

When asked how he will train for the host city event, Carlos says: “30 matches per day, just like I do for FIWC qualification.” With the Brazil qualifier only a few weeks away, Carlos has his tactics in place. “I plan to be active on defence, be nimble with my fingers on the controls, train hard and make sure I have technical options to break my opponent’s formation of choice.”

The underdog
Luccas Ferreira from Santa Barbara d'Oeste is equally ready for the tournament. “This is the first time that I'm trying to qualify to the Grand Finals, and being one of the best Brazilians is a really good step,” says the 18-year-old, “I know that I don't have much experience in this kind of tournament, but I will do my best to qualify. I think that all the eight Brazilian Players can win this, but you can never predict the result of a FIFA 14 game.”

The veteran
At 24-years-of age, Sergio Filho has the benefit of some valuable but bitter FIWC experience. The Franca native came within a hair’s breath of qualifying for the 2009 Grand Final. Sergio made it all the way to the final match of the 2009 Brazil Live Qualifier, but was ultimately beaten 2-1 by Ruben Zerecero. Four-time Grand Finalists Zerecero would go on to make it all the way to the gold medal match of the FIWC 2009 Grand Final.

“My dream is still to become the best FIFA player in the world.” says Sergio. “For now, it's a great honour to be one of the best players in Brazil. I'm just trying to practice as much as I can to represent my country at the virtual World Cup.“

Rio's great hope
Meanwhile, local boy Rafael Fortes will be looking to make Rio de Janeiro proud at the event: “I'm focused. I’m ready to play my best football and win the title,” says the Botafogo fan. Asked why he signed up for FIWC 2014, Rafael’s answer is sharp and matter-of-fact: ”The chance to win the title in my hometown and play against the best players in the world of course.“

The FIWC is officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest gaming tournament in the world. Every year, millions of virtual footballers compete in the hopes of making it to the Grand Final. To follow all the latest FIWC action, become a fan of the FIFA Interactive World Cup on Facebook and follow @FIWC on twitter.