Finalists arrive to turn dreams into reality
© FIFA.com

The 7th of June 2011 will be a date that 24 supremely talented virtual footballers will never forget. Over the course of the day, all 24 Grand Finalists for the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2011 arrived in Los Angeles.

There was a look of excitement and nervousness on each gamer's face, as their arrival finally signified the beginning of the-three day FIWC Grand Final frenzy. Ever since each of the 24 finalists earned a seat at the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2011 Grand Final, the days have seemed longer as they eagerly awaited their arrival on virtual football's brightest stage. 

Dreams and limousines
The FIWC11 Grand Finalists were flown in by FIFA and event partners EA and Sony PlayStation from all over the world. From the airport, stretch limousines ushered the Grand Finalists to their hotels. “It’s a dream come true,” gasped Tyronne Allen from England. Tyronne was one of the last to secure his place in the Grand Final. “I never dreamed that I would be in LA, never mind competing to be a world champion,” said the MTV wildcard winner.

I’ve met the best footballers in the world...I have taken part in media events and tested the FIFA 11 game before anyone else. I just wish that all 24 of us could experience the same.
Defending champion Nenad Stojkovic addresses his fellow Grand Finalists for FIWC11.

Upon their arrival, the surprises came thick and fast for the finalists. After checking into their impressive hotels, they were transported to a luxurious mansion perched on Hollywood hill with the spectacular Los Angeles skyline as a backdrop. FIFA Partner adidas greeted the players at the mansion and made sure that all of the competitors are now dressed for success. All of the finalists were kitted out with tracksuits and running shoes as well as personalised playing shirts ahead of Wednesday's opening stage.

A relaxed evening
At a poolside evening barbecue in the mansion's grounds, the finalists were welcomed by FIFA Interactive World Cup 2010 Champion Nenad Stojkovic. Barely able to contain his excitement, Nenad gave his competitors an insight into his past year as reigning champion.

“I’ve met the best footballers in the world, including my idol Cristiano Ronaldo," he grinned. "I have taken part in media events and tested the FIFA 11 game before anyone else. I just wish that all 24 of us could experience the same.”