Francisco: The best game ever
© FIFA.com

As we gear up for the launch of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2012 on 1 December, we caught up with defending FIWC Champion Francisco Cruz to see what he’s been up to in the post-season.

FIFA.com: Hi Francisco, have you had a good break from FIWC? What have you been up to?
Francisco Cruz:
I’ve enjoyed some time off during the post-tournament break. I had to study for my exams for a large part of the break but the rest of it was spent on a beach in Portugal’s Algarve with a group of awesome friends!

Next up for you is a trip to the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2011 Gala in January. How are you feeling about attending such an exclusive event?
I think of this every single day and I still haven’t been able to fully comprehend it. I’m getting the opportunity to attend such an important and exclusive event. Meeting players like Ronaldo and Messi is not something everyone gets to do, I’m going to try and enjoy it to the maximum!

Have you started playing EA SPORTS™ FIFA 12 yet?
Yes, I’ve already played it with some friends. I still haven’t played online because I have a FIFA 11 competition coming up and I need to train more on FIFA 11 than FIFA 12 right now.

What do you think of the new version? What do you like most about FIFA12?
It’s, without a doubt, the best game ever! It’s really that good! The new system of impact still needs a few tweaks but the new defensive system is much more realistic and much harder! I’m really loving it!

Are you making any special preparations for defending your title?
No, I’m not. I’m going to do what I did for Los Angeles. I’m going to take it match by match and just try and play my game. If I do my best then I will already be satisfied. If that means becoming a back-to-back world champion, then great!

As the defending champion you have an automatic seat in the FIWC12 Grand Final. How does a champion prepare to defend their title without that motivation to qualify?
Sadly I have no prior-experience with this and I’m going to feel this pressure for the first time. But to prepare myself I’m going to try and play with the best players that I know in order to stay at their level.

Are you working on any specific aspect of your game?
No, I’m going to play in the style I most enjoy and the style that feels the most comfortable. But like I said, I haven’t started playing FIFA 12 intensively yet. Even though I’m anxious to start doing so.

After you won FIWC11 you told us that you have learnt something from every champion. As the FIWC11 champion would you like to leave for future generations of champions?
If I had to choose one thing, it would be this: I would like the next champion to inherit the idea that playing FIFA is simply one of the best experiences in the world, and that this experience is enriched by the desire to compete, thanks to the FIWC, which makes it even better.

Fire up your Playstation®3 and throw in your copy of EA SPORTS FIFA™12, it’s time to train before the first online season of FIWC12 kicks-off on 1 December!