Another chance for Alfonso

Teenager Alfonso Ramos was victorious in the battle of the best virtual football gamers of Spain, earning one of the 32 competitor slots for the FIFA Interactive World Cup Grand Final in Berlin on 24 May 2008.

Although it will mark his very first time to Germany, the unique, unforgettable, and for some intimidating atmosphere of a Grand Final will not be new to him after having advanced as far as the quarter-finals of the 2006 event in Amsterdam.

"I am so thrilled to get another chance of winning the title of FIFA Interactive World Player," said the 19-year-old. "This is such a prestigious tournament and being in the Grand Final for the second time in a row is fantastic for me. This year I have worked even harder on my skills and can't wait to have another chance to compete against the best in the world."

He has all the right to be confident as Ramos, a.k.a. herzex, is also currently sitting in fourth position of the online qualification leaderboard for the European Zone. Nevertheless, Alfonso fought his way through the pre-qualifier event in Oviedo before prevailing against eight fellow city champions with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Ignacio Marcellan Carrion.

"I know Hertha BSC Berlin!" he replied when asked about his knowledge of Berlin. During his all-expenses-paid weekend trip to the Grand Final in May, he will certainly have some time to find out some more about Germany's capital city.

To accentuate the FIFA Interactive World Cup slogan 'Play Your Heroes', Espanyol player Ivan De la Peña made a highly anticipated guest appearance, showing off impressive moves on the virtual pitch in a flash-light exhibition match against one lucky gamer.

Kiko Bejar, the well-known DJ from 40 Principales, the No1 music radio station in Spain, made sure the right tunes were played to keep the crowd entertained throughout the day in Barcelona.

The FIFA Interactive World Cup showed its genuinely global face this weekend with live qualifying events taking place simultaneously in six countries across three different continents (Europe, South America and Africa).

These events herald the start of the final countdown for the FIFA Interactive World Cup qualification period, with only four more national champions to be found in Italy, UK, Germany and New Zealnd.

The hard-fought online qualification will come to a close on Monday 31 March, so all 25,000 registered players will be anxiously awaiting the final leaderboards to be posted on FIFA.com, to find out who will secure the remaining 12 Grand Final slots.