'GGGodfather-': I couldn’t have imagined this in 2009
'GGGodfather-' is one of the most experienced FIFA pros
Five-time Grand Finalist, first was in 2009
First edition of EA SPORTS FIFA he played was FIFA '94
When it comes to experience on the EA SPORTS FIFA circuit, few match USA’s Giuseppe Guastella. It is little wonder, therefore, they call him ‘the Godfather’.
The 33-year-old is one of the older faces on the scene and boasts five Grand Finals appearances to his name.
Given the dramatic growth of eFootball in recent years, 'GGGGodfather-' has naturally witnessed a lot of the changes and developments first-hand since making his global finals debut at the FIFA Interactive World Cup in 2009.
"Before we used to sit on a sofa and play while sat right next to each other but now we have on our own space. Everything’s more organised," 'GGGGodfather-', thinking back to 2009, told FIFA.com.
"A lot has changed, especially media and social media. eFootball is now live on Twitch, Facebook, YouTube and networks such as ESPN and Sky Sports. It’s a lot more professional now.
"I couldn’t have imagined this at all in 2009," he continued. "Back then I was excited because it was brand new to me. I didn’t know what it was going to become. Now people want to have autographs and take pictures with you."
Another element of the increased professionalisation of eFootball since 'GGGGodfather-' made his bow ten years ago is players representing club and country.
As well as being a USA international, the Californian plays for LA Galaxy and finished runner-up at the 2019 eMLS Cup to international team-mate 'Doolsta' of Philadelphia Union.
"I was born and raised in LA, in a town called Saint Pedro," he said. "I always supported LA Galaxy so when they gave me an offer to represent them, I was so excited. They’re the biggest MLS club and have always had big players – David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Steven Gerrard.
"The best thing about being an eFootballer, for me, is representing the LA Galaxy and US Soccer."
25 years and counting
Representing LA Galaxy and US Soccer at eFootball was something that was unimaginable when 'GGGGodfather-' played his first ever game of FIFA. That was FIFA '94 on the Sega Genesis, before the days of PlayStation, Xbox and the advanced gameplay and online features which gamers are accustomed to now.
So, what was EA SPORTS FIFA like back then?
"Pixels!" 'GGGGodfather-' laughed. "It was little players running around. You would have to use a D-pad where you would only have four directions to go – up, down, left, right. There was no FUT Champions back then! But it was fun at the time."
Should 'GGGGodfather-' reach the FIFA eWorld Cup™, it would mark his sixth appearance at the global finals. At age 33, he is one of the oldest eFootball competitors and can naturally rely on years of experience playing at the highest level.
"It’s a benefit for me being the oldest and having the most experience," he said. "I’ve seen the highs, the lows, everything – so nothing really fazes me."