Mohamad Al-Bacha, a 17-year-old student from the Danish town of Kokkedal surprised everyone last night by snagging the victory in FIFA Interactive World Cup football in New York.
“Winning this leaves me speechless,” said Bacha on the tournaments official website. “I have worked hard on my performance and have been completely dedicated to playing the best I can here in New York.”
Millions try, few chosen
It was something of a milestone for the Danish teenager even qualify for the tournament. More than 2.3 million FIFA players attempted to qualify online, but only 32 of them made it to New York.
Bacha, which is also his FIFA name, worked his way through the semi finals to finally defeat Swede Ivan Lapanje and Englishman Sean Allen.
Bacha received his 134,000 kroner first prize from the Spanish soccer star David Villa.
Just as intense as the real thing
Villa expressed admiration for the young Dane’s competitive spirit, even if he plays his game on the screen and not on the pitch.
“It has been a huge eye-opener for me to experience the high level of competition,” said Villa. “The professionalism and the mental strength needed in the finals is just like in the real World Cup, he played a great game tonight and showed genuine passion for football.”