Thursday 04 July 2019, 14:45

Abdulaziz Alshehri, the first Saudi Arabian and Asian champion

  • Saudi Arabian player has three Grand Final appearances

  • Inspiration and driving force behind his country’s eFootball community

  • The 2015 FIFA eFootball World Cup winner in profile

Late convert to the game

Before Alshehri set about writing EA SPORTS FIFA history, he had to be persuaded to actually play the game! His brother managed to talk him round, and soon young Abdulaziz was an avid player. Around four years after discovering FIFA, he qualified for his first Grand Final in Dubai in 2012. Despite going out in the quarter-final, he gained invaluable experience which he would put to good use over the following years. In 2013 he reached the semi-final and found himself within touching distance of the title for the first time, but did not manage to make it through to the decider, with record FIFA eWorld Cup winner Bruce Grannec hoisting the trophy in Madrid for the second time.

eFootball World Cup winner

That piece of silverware became an obsession for Alshehri. In 2015, the Saudi Arabian carved out another chance to take home the ultimate prize, and after an impressive undefeated run through the tournament, scoring 11 goals and conceding only three, he secured his long-awaited win in the final against Julien Dassonville. Alshehri became the first-ever player not only from Saudi Arabia but from the entire continent to win eFootball’s most coveted prize.

"It was something special, being the first player from Asia and the Middle East to win it," he told us in an interview last October. "We’d often had players in the Grand Final and it made me wonder why we couldn’t go on and win it."

This season

After experiencing a quieter spell in the years after his FIFA eWorld Cup win, he has returned to form this season, qualifying for a number of events this year including a FUT Champions Cup. He was also selected to be a member of the extended Saudi Arabia eFootball squad ahead of the FIFA eNations Cup 2019, as well as playing this season under contract with Al Batin Club. His all-round performances have seen him back up into the top 100 of the FIFA 19 Global Series Rankings.

Another Saudi Arabian player, 'Msdossary', is the current defending champion, meaning that two of the past four FIFA eFootball World Cups are from the Middle East. Will they make it three out of five with another title this year? Share your opinion on Twitter using the hashtag #FIFAeWorldCup!