'MoAuba': I’ll be nervous meeting Cristiano and Messi
'MoAuba' is the current FIFA eWorld Cup champion
Won USD 250,000 prize and an exclusive invitation to The Best
"Previous winners have said the trip is even better than the prize money"
The crème de la crème of world football will be descending on Milan as the iconic Teatro alla Scala plays host to The Best FIFA Football Awards™ on 23 September.
But it is not just the finest on-field players who will be present in the city that can boast I Rossoneri, I Nerazzurri and the fabled San Siro; the best of virtual football will also be represented.
Millions participated in qualifying for the FIFA eWorld Cup 2019™ before 32 leading competitive FIFA players went head to head for global glory in London.
Mohammed 'MoAuba' Harkous’s usual beaming smile was shining even brighter as he was the last man standing at The O2 in London and, as well as bagging a life-changing USD 250,000 prize, the German also claimed an exclusive invitation to this year’s awards.
"The previous [eWorld Cup] winners who have been to The Best before me have said the trip is even better than the prize money," said 'MoAuba' in conversation with FIFA.com. “You get to meet football’s biggest stars and be part of a great day.
"I’ll be nervous meeting Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. They’re two of the biggest stars. Most people in the world know who they are. I’m really looking forward to it."
Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are nominated for The Best FIFA Men’s Player along with defender Virgil van Dijk, but 'MoAuba' sees the awards as a two-horse race between the forwards.
"I think it should be between Messi and Ronaldo," he said. "Van Dijk had a great year and he was by far the best defender, but I think it’s between those two. For me, Messi was a little bit better last year so I would give him the prize."
The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award sees Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino up against one another and Germany international 'MoAuba' is backing his compatriot to take home the gong.
"I love his style of football – I think everyone does – and I love him as a person as well. Whenever he gives interviews, everyone wants to hear what he says. He always says great things, he’s always smiling. He’s like Dirk Nowitzki [former NBA star] in that sense - always happy and bringing people joy.
"He won the Champions League so I think he deserves it the most. As a German, I’d love to see Klopp win it."
Like his fellow countryman Klopp, 'MoAuba' is committed to maintaining his place amongst the best in his field. So, what qualities do you need to be the world’s leading competitive FIFA player?
"You need to have a bit of talent, to know about football, and you have to practice a lot against pro players," he said. "At tournaments, players are at a similar level, so a lot of games are decided on mental strength. You have to be relaxed and focused – and I think that goes for everything in life, not just competitive FIFA."
The EA SPORTS FIFA 19 campaign was a memorable one for 'MoAuba', who represented his country in an official capacity for the first time at the inaugural FIFA eNations Cup™ as well as claiming the top prize in the form of the FIFA eWorld Cup.
Like a true champion, and similar to The Best finalists, 'MoAuba' seldom rests in the pursuit of greatness. He already has eyes on next season: FIFA 20.
"For us, every year is different," he said. "You don’t know whether the game will be too difficult or not but I’m looking forward to competing on FIFA 20. I’m focused on playing great FIFA again.
"All tournaments will be bigger, including the team tournaments where you play 2v2. The eNations Cup was great and it was a new challenge for me. I was nervous about playing for a whole country, not just for a club. My goal is to play better at the next eNations Cup."
The FIFA eWorld Cup in black and white
FIFA eWorld Cup - Finals