Two-time FIWC champion Alfonso Ramos is one of the world's best FIFA 13 players and he has sat down to discuss some of the tactics he’s used in the past to play his way to two world titles.
The Spaniard entered the 2013 FIWC Grand Final as defending champion and crowd favourite in his home city of Madrid, but the 24-year-old football coach suffered a disappointing group stage exit after a series of frustrating games.
Still, Ramos is a double FIWC world champion, and he talked GiveMeFootball through some of the tactics he uses to such great effect in the game.
The first thing you notice at the Madrid event is the fact that almost every FIWC Grand Finalist plays as Real Madrid.
Ramos explains: “They have the best goalkeeper in the world, Iker Casillas. Also they have great defenders, Pepe and Sergio Ramos, and they have Cristiano Ronaldo – the best player in the game.
“They are fast, strong and have the best player.” That winning combination is good enough for most of the FIWC participants – including Ramos, German champion and Borussia Dortmund fan Kai Wollin and French favourite and eventual 2013 FIWC champion Bruce Grannec.
Rafael Riobo, a FIWC semi-finalist, used Bayern Munich this year because he described them as a more 'complete team', while FIWC runner-up Andrei Torres Vivero played as Brazil - and used Neymar and Hulk to tremendous effect. But Vivero and Riobo were certainly in the minority as most participants plumped for Madrid.
So are they the best counter-attacking team on FIFA 13? “Yes, I think so,” said Ramos. “They only other [like them] is maybe Brazil because they have Neymar and Lucas [Moura].
“But I think Real Madrid is the best. You can put Callejon and Di Maria on the wings and you have great passers like Xabi Alonso, [Mesut] Ozil and [Luka] Modric.”
Over the course of the first two days of competition, freckled-faced teenagers exchanged worried looks and nervous glances as they jockeyed for position and a place in Wednesday’s Grand Final.
But the uniformity of team selection meant almost every game was Real Madrid versus Real Madrid – how do you get the edge when your opponent picks the same team? According to Ramos, tactics, formation and strategy are key.
He’s played with a 4-2-2-2 formation in the past, and switched to it on occasion this year, but by and large the Spaniard played with the 4-2-3-1 commonly associated with great counter attacking sides likes Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.
“Yes, I use it [4-2-3-1],” said Ramos. “I think it is similar to my last formation 4-2-2-2 but I have a player like Benzema who is more offensive [in the attacking midfield position]. I prefer to play him and then Cristiano Ronaldo as the only striker.”
Such decisions are based around the players at his disposal, and Ramos believes flexibility is crucial when you need to make changes on the fly.
“It can also be 4-2-1-3 or 4-3-3 in attack,” continued Ramos.
The Spaniard is one of the most successful FIFA 13 gamers of all-time, having won the tournament twice in 2008 and 2012.
Only Bruce Grannec, this year’s winner, has won the FIWC Grand Final more than once, so if you want to improve your record in the FIFA career mode, online seasons, or even prepare for a tilt at next year’s FIWC competition, you could do a lot worse than follow Ramos’s advice.