Excitement building for Al-Bacha

Christmas is known primarily as a time of peace and reflection, but for many people it is also a time for presents – and the anticipation of receiving them. Mohamad Al-Bacha will not get what will probably be his best gift until later, but he already cannot wait.

That present in question is a trip to The Best FIFA Football Awards™ in Zurich on 9 January 2017. The Dane earned the prize by winning the FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) 2016. "I'm already so excited – and have been since March," the 18-year-old told FIFA.com, his eagerness immediately apparent.

"It's going to be a fantastic experience," he continued. "To see all the stars up close will be unbelievable. I might even be able to speak to a couple of them. I'd never have thought that would ever be possible." The best FIFA gamer in the world can barely contain his enthusiasm.

Fingers crossed for his idolThe elite of global football will be in attendance on a special evening. Antoine Griezmann, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, for example, are on the shortlist for The Best FIFA Men's Player award, and that trio will certainly not be the only stars Al-Bacha could encounter.

The FIWC champion has no doubts about who he would like to see win the honour: "I'm a big fan of Real Madrid and Ronaldo, so I've got my fingers crossed for him. His personality and above all his ability on the pitch impress me. He's a big and inspirational role model for me."

In order to keep his excitement in check Al-Bacha tries to distract himself by practising FIFA 17. He is determined to once again reach the Grand Final, which will take place in London in 2017. The first qualifying season is already over, but the defending champion has not yet entered the competition.

Strong competition"I had to get used to the new game first, but I'll get involved in the next round. The important thing is for me to qualify. I think I've got a good chance," said Al-Bacha confidently, before admitting that, "this year the level is a lot higher than it was last year."

Before then, however, is Christmas and one thing is at the very top of the gamer's wish list: "I want a picture with Cristiano Ronaldo, ideally something funny. I hope he's up for that." The trip to Zurich is all Al-Bacha can think about at the moment and thankfully there are only a couple more weeks to go.

We will accompany Al-Bacha at the event and share his experiences with you. Do you want to have your chance to see the best players in the world up close? Then take part in FIWC 2017 qualifying, with the second of three seasons starting on 1 January. **Find out more information here.