Rafael Fortes wins FIWC Brazil Qualifier to claim last spot at Grand Final
© FIFA.com

Brazil will be represented by 18-year-old Rafael Salles Leite Fortes at the 2014 FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) Grand Final in Rio de Janeiro this July after he beat the seven best FIFA14 players in the country to win his place.

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 CupTM.

Rafael, a student from Rio de Janeiro, won the FIWC Brazil Qualifier today at Flumninense’s historic former stadium Estádio Laranjeiras and advances to face the best in the world at the Grand Final. Rafael fought his way through the group stages and the semi-final to get through to the final.

The final saw the two best FIFA14 players in the country, Rafael and Luccas, go head-to-head in the ultimate showdown with a place at the FIWC Grand Final at stake. Rafael won the match 6-0 playing as Bayern Munich.

Rafael will now have the chance to be crowned the best in the world and win USD 20,000 as well as an invitation to the FIFA Ballon d’Or. Standing in his way will be FIWC defending champion, Bruce Grannec of France, as well as 18 other qualifiers from around the globe.

An overjoyed Rafael speaking about his win said:

“I cannot believe it, I have worked so hard and now I am finally at the FIWC Grand Final. 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.”

Ralph Straus, FIFA’s Head of Strategy and Brand Management, said:

“I’m delighted to welcome Rafael as the final player to qualify for this year’s FIFA Interactive World Cup Grand Final. It was a tough qualifier event, with a very high standard of play. We are now eagerly awaiting the Grand Final in Rio de Janeiro on 2 and 3 July to see how Rafael fares against the other most talented FIWC players in the world.”

Fluminense players Rafael Sóbis, Wagner and Robert, and former idol Romerito were also in attendance cheering on the eight qualifiers. After he was crowned champion, Rafael took on Robert in a one-off FIFA14 match with Rafael winning 3 -0.

Robert said:

“I am delighted for Rafael as I know how much of an honour it is to represent your country. I fancy myself as a decent FIFA14 player, but Rafael is by far the best I have seen. I wish him all the best for the Grand Final and I’m sure he can do Brazil proud.”

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 with more than 5,000,000 players taking 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. For more information on the FIWC, go to: www.FIFA.com/FIWC, www.Twitter.com/FIWC, or www.Facebook.com/FIWC