In between the press conferences for the FIFA World Player of Year, 17-year-old Andries Smit was presented with the  FIFA Interactive World Player of the Year award by Dutch legend Edgar Davids.

The youngster, who hails from the Hague, was overjoyed to meet a hero of his and collect the title he won in Amsterdam on 9 December.  Smit was the last gamer standing  after 128 finalists jetted in from all over the globe to compete for the coveted gaming trophy.

"I feel fantastic, I can't believe it that I'm here, all the people being here," he said. "I love gaming more than football now, I used to love football but now I've won I love the gaming even more than football. Usually I play for five hours a day, but I couldn't play today because I am here - it's a small price to pay!"

Edgar Davids, the face of FIFA 03, has been a gamer for years, "I've been playing since the first Commodore 64 came out!" the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder said, smiling. "Football games weren't that good in those days - certainly nowhere near as good as they are now. I never like to play as me, I play mostly as Brazil, or as one of my old teams: Juventus or Barcelona."

So popular has gaming become over the years, and so advanced is the modern day technology, that the former Dutch international sees no end to the growth of this new competition: "I'm sure it will go global now with the technology, it's easy to play with other teams all over the world. So that makes it much more attractive and when you see the young lad Andries wanting to win all the time, that's the sort of attitude which makes you better - and he's the best in the world. It's good to exercise though and I still prefer the real game. These youngsters can beat me too easily at FIFA 07!

Smit, meanwhile, the man who has mastered his art, admitted that he was looking forward to meeting one of the contenders for the FIFA World Player of the Year later, having benefited from some 'help' from the player in question. He explained: "I changed to Brazil for the final after playing as France up to then. Dida is better than Coupet, but the main reason was Ronaldinho. He's unstoppable."

And for those still uninitiated into the world of football gaming, our world champion had a simple message: "Go and play it and you will see it for yourself!"