Media Release

Fédération Internationale de Football Association

FIFA Strasse 20, P.O Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland, +41 (0) 43 222 7777

Thursday 14 January 2016, 15:20

FIWC Champion takes FIFA Ballon d’Or stars on a drive with a difference

Champions from the world of football were joined by the champion of the virtual pitch, with FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) 2015 winner Abdulaziz Alshehri joining the guests at this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or awards ceremony held in Zurich, Switzerland.

Attending the Ballon d’Or and mingling with some of the world’s greatest football stars is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for every FIWC Champion. This year, football stars also enjoyed their own unique experience before the event, as Alshehri welcomed them into a customised limousine equipped with console and EA SPORTS™ FIFA 16 and challenged them to a game as they drove through Zurich in style. After dropping off his challengers at one of Zurich’s main hotels, Alshehri took on even more big name competitors and also met this year’s Ballon d’Or Winner Lionel Messi and Ballon d’Or nominee Cristiano Ronaldo.

Alshehri’s challengers included Brazilian legend and 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year Kaka, FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd, FIFA Puskas winner Wendell Lira as well as female stars Célia Šašić and Hope Solo. All players tried to bring their world famous skills from the pitch to the screen in energetic matches against the FIWC Champion.

“I still can’t believe that I was sitting here with Kaka in this customised limousine, driving through Zurich and playing against them in FIFA! It felt like a really cool dream come true." said an excited Alshehri who later that evening saw Lionel Messi win a historic fifth FIFA Ballon d’Or.

After his unforgettable experience, Abdulaziz Alshehri is now even more determined to defend his title as FIWC Champion at the Grand Final event in New York City. The three-day-event will take place from March 20-22 and will see 32 of the best EA SPORTS™ FIFA 16 players in the world battle it out to win the highly coveted title of FIFA Interactive World Cup Champion, the FIWC trophy, 20,000 USD in prize money and a trip to the 2016 FIFA Ballon d'Or awards ceremony.

The 2016 edition of the FIWC is the first to be played on two popular gaming consoles - XBox One and Playstation®4. More than two million players have registered for online qualification - a milestone that has only been reached once before in the history of the tournament.