Grannec claims FIFA Interactive World Cup prize


The Frenchman keeps his cool in sunny Barcelona to lift the trophy.

Bruce Grannec of France confirmed that he is the world's greatest EA SPORTS FIFA 09 player on May 2, 2009 in Barcelona; he will now stand alongside the real game's elite at the 2010 FIFA World Player Gala.

The late afternoon sun was dipping behind the stage as he collected his trophy, a cheque for USD 20,000 and the key to a KIA Soul car from FIFA Executive Committee Member Chuck Blazer and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Marketing Manager Kerry Lee.

His 31 friends and rivals, including beaten finalist Ruben Morales Zerecero and third placed Francisco Cruz, who impressed everyone at just 14 years old, applauded him throughout the ceremony. The spirit of the day as a whole was one of friendly rivalry, as players from around the world, many of whom only know each other throughout PlayStation Network, came together to play in front of a big crowd.

A close contest seemed likely long before a button had been pressed as 2008 and 2006 winners, Alfonso Ramos Cuevas and Chris Bullard, were drawn together in the first round. Bullard described his pool as a proverbial group of death, especially given the likelihood of meeting 2006 champ Andries Smit should he progress.

The Englishman escaped the group, helping to eliminate the title holder in the progress, but lost to the eventual winner in the quarter-finals. Grannec went on to face Radim Kluka, who had come through a thrilling match against Danny Taylor, which was played on a big screen in front of a swelling crowd and settled with a penalty shoot-out.

Mexico's Ruben Morales Zerecero defeated young Francisco Cruz 3-0 in the other semi-final, and made no secret of his elation as he roared to the crowd, made up of fellow players, their friends and families, freestylers who had been performing throughout the day, and passers-by enjoying the splendid Catalan weather.

While the FIFA 09 action came thick and fast all afternoon, there was plenty more to see and do. Anyone could show their skills on FIFA 09 in the gaming lounge, while the Entertainment Room proved popular, which housed LittleBigPlanet, SingStar, Flower and many other PlayStation 3 and PSP games.

FIFA's beach soccer player of 2008, Ramiro Amarelle, stepped onto a specially built pitch of sand to give demonstrations and coaching to spectators and a speed detector let them measure their shots.

The main stage hosted freestyle football performances from Komball and John Farnworth as well as live music and DJs, but the main showpiece was the final, which like both semi-finals before it, was contested between Manchester United and Manchester United.

There was a nervy feel to the start of the game as the players searched for a breakthrough, and Grannec struck first after seven minutes. Zerecero fought back and scored an equaliser in the second half, only for Grannec to seal victory with a crippling brace within five minutes.

The award ceremony brought an end to the competition; all that was left was for everyone involved to party long into the night as a salsa band took to the stage.

Article Details

Publish date: Mon May 11 09:32:00 BST 2009
Category: News