"Becoming number one is easier than remaining number one." The famous expression doesn’t seem to hold true for everyone. Alfonso Ramos, winner of FIWC08, has already secured his seat at this year's FIFA Interactive World Cup Grand Final and is hoping to become the first ever two-time winner of the prestigious tournament. Ramos sat down with FIFA.com for a discussion about the FIWC past and his wishes for the future.
FIFA.com: Congratulations on winning Season 3. You finished over 1,000 points ahead of second place. Was it your first attempt at qualifying for the FIWC11 Grand Final?
Alfonso Ramos: No, I already tried to qualify in Season 1 but I had to stop after seven days because I had exams. This season I was on holidays so I had enough time to play.
So you were quite lucky with your holiday planning this year. What exactly do you study?
I'm studying to become a physical education teacher. If everything goes as planned, I’ll finish my studies before the FIWC11 Grand Final. Next year, I’ll start to study to become a football coach.
So will you have enough time to get prepared for the Grand Final?
I'm starting to practice now but right now I'm focusing on my studies. I'm playing 4 to 5 games against top players in order to test my tactics, formations and players. At the beginning of May I’ll start to train more intensively.
You won the FIWC in 2008. Are you still as fascinated by the competition as you were back then?
I think the FIWC is the best virtual competition ever. The way that it connects players from all over the world is one of the most important aspects of the tournament. I've made a lot of friends from so many different countries because of the FIWC. Then, of course, there is the possibility to meet your football heroes at the FIFA Ballon d’Or. I had one of the most amazing nights of my life there!
What happened after your success at FIWC08? How did you spend the prize money?
I put most of the prize money in the bank to be honest! Plus I invited a friend to dinner as promised, paid my summer holidays and bought a TV. My life is pretty much the same. Of course more people know me and I also had the opportunity to do some commercials with EA SPORTS™ in Spain. But I'm the same guy as before the triumph.
Which professional team do you support?
My favourite team is Real Madrid. I think Mourinho is the best coach in the world. He is very intelligent and he’s doing a great job. The supporters are very happy with him.
What are your expectations for the FIWC11 Grand Final?
First of all I'm very proud to represent Spain and I want to thank FIFA and EA SPORTS for all the opportunities that they given me. Meeting Fernando Torres at the the FIFA World Player Gala was a dream come true. My expectations for the Grand Final at this moment are simply to get through the group stage. I want to take it step-by-step. In the last two years I was very nervous. I felt the pressure of being a previous champion and I just couldn’t get my game right. I think if I pass the group stage this year I'll have a great chance of winning.
Who do you think could get in your way?
Andre Buffo from Brazil is one of the best players right now and of course the reigning champion Nenad Stojkovic. He really is a great competitor. Then there will be the players that will qualify in the Live Events in Spain, France, England and Germany. They are always tough to play against.