Wenger: It's an honour for me
© AFP

Arsene Wenger has been at the Arsenal helm for over fifteen years, an unbelievable tenure in today’s fast-paced football climate.

Without question, Arsene Wenger is one of the most effective and successful football managers in the world. To date, the Frenchman has led Arsenal to three league championships and four FA Cup titles. The 2003/2004 season was an unforgettable one for Arsenal fans as they watched Wenger’s team win the Premier League without losing a single match!

A taste for virtual football
Not only is Wenger one of the most experienced coaches in real football, it turns out the French tactician also loves the virtual game. Add so, it is our pleasure to formally announce Arsene Wenger as the official coach for the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2012! There are hardly any players who Arsene Wenger hasn’t been able to help out with his tactical expertise and knowledge of the game. What an honour and unbelievable opportunity for all our FIWC12 gamers! We met with the new FIFA Interactive World Cup coach for an exclusive interview.

FIFA.com: You have been the official FIFA Interactive World Cup 2012 coach for a short time now. How does it feel to be named the official FIWC12 coach?
Arsene Wenger: It is an honour for me to be able to act as the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2012 coach. I know that young players enjoy virtual football and I see this development as very positive. The love of football is what brings professional players, trainers, amateurs and fans together. There are various ways in which to live out this passion and the FIFA Interactive World Cup is undoubtedly one of those.

Do you or any of your Arsenal players take part in FIWC12?
I don’t play regularly but I know the FIWC well since many of my Arsenal players enjoy it. The FIFA Interactive World Cup is so fascinating because you can play against people from all over the world and become world champion in an official FIFA tournament.

Virtual football keeps getting more realistic and when playing EA SPORTS™ FIFA 12 it's easy to think you are watching a real football match. What do you think about this development?
It is a wonderful development for virtual football to become more and more realistic. Not everyone has the chance to become a professional football player but the FIWC gives you the chance to come close. The more realistic and more sophisticated the tactic the better.

Do you believe that the FIWC can have a positive effect on actual football?
I’m positive of this. In order to be successful in the FIFA Interactive World Cup, you have to continuously play at the top of your game and be highly concentrated. These characteristics are exactly what you need in actual football as well.

Do you sometimes wish you could have a controller on the sidelines in order to take the match into your own hands?
[Laughs] Yes! Sometimes trainers would like this. But on the other hand, what makes football so exciting is the fact that you never know what could happen. Even in virtual tournaments like the FIFA Interactive World Cup it’s not only a player’s skills but also their mental toughness that plays a very important role. So the differences between virtual and actual football may not be as large as they seem at first glance.

Do you have what it takes to play virtual football at the highest level? The sixth and final online qualification season for FIWC12 runs from 1-15 May. Join the largest virtual tournament in the world and try to claim your seat at next month's Grand Final!