Beyond our imagination
© FIFA.com

Francisco Cruz, the 2011 FIFA Interactive World Champion had been eagerly anticipating his trip to the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala ever since winning the FIWC11 Grand Final back in June of 2011.

There was, however, one FIWC player who had much less time to prepare for the star-studded event. Pierre-Olivier Guenard was the lucky winner of our 'Win a trip to the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala' contest. To enter the contest, gamers simply had to register for the first online season of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2012.

Pierre-Olivier and his wife Andrey had the opportunity to watch Francisco Cruz recieve his winner’s certificate from Wayne Rooney at a press conference prior to the Gala. Later, at the main event, the couple were starstruck as they were surrounded by many of their favourite football stars. We sat down with the French couple, who were still overwhelmed by the evening’s events, to discuss their experience.

FIFA.com: What was your first thoughts on finding out that you had won a trip to the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2011 Gala?
Pierre-Olivier:
The opportunity to visit the FIFA Ballon d’Or is something every football fan dreams of and, at first, I just couldn’t believe that this dream came true for me. When I was told that I had won it was just a couple of days until the FIFA Ballon d’Or so I was very nervous and happy at the same time.

So, how good of a player are you at EA SPORTS™ FIFA 12?
Pierre-Olivier:
I’m certainly better than my wife! To be honest I think I’m an average player who likes tactics and tries to get as close as possible to the real game. I love watching football and this is where I get my inspiration from when playing EA SPORTS™ FIFA 12.

You got a chance to meet Francisco Cruz, the reigning FIWC Champion. Did you get a few FIFA 12 tips from him?
Pierre-Olivier:
It was fantastic to meet him. He’s the world’s best virtual footballer and, of course, any FIWC advice from him is helpful. Actually we talked quite a lot about EA SPORTS™ FIFA 12 but obviously I won’t give anything away right now. My goal is to make it to the Grand Final this year!

Besides Francisco, who has you looked forward to meeting the most at the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala?
Pierre-Olivier:
I was thrilled to see Lionel Messi. What he does on the pitch is just magical! He’s just got so much talent. Another player I like very much is Karim Benzema because his first year at Real Madrid was quite tough. He fought his way through it and now he’s doing really well. He wasn’t nominated this time but I’m sure he will be in the near future!

Andrey, I believe you are Colombian. What was it like to meet Shakira at the gala yesterday?
Andrey:
It was totally surprised because I didn’t know that she was coming. I was really proud that she represented Colombia at an event like this. I had the opportunity to talk to her and she is a really lovely person and very elegant!

We know that this day was special for the both of you for another reason. it’s your first wedding anniversary! Any plans on how to top this experience next year?
Andrey:
Of course we made some plans for this year’s anniversary but going to the FIFA Ballon d’Or was beyond our imagination. This day was just perfect! It’s going to be really difficult to come up with something better next year. I think the only solution is that Pierre-Olivier wins FIWC12 and we get invited again!