Malcolm Owen On July 6, 2006 at 2:59 am

The software version of the World Cup has been decided, and Portugal won, as this late press release shows. And yes, they started it with a lower case t.

today, Portugal were crowned the Xbox Cup Champions having won the tournament on EA’s 2006 FIFA World Cup™ on the Xbox® 360 console. In a rousing ceremony, the team lifted the Xbox Cup trophy to rounds of applause from the 8500 seater adidas stadium, at the centre of the Platz der Republik, Berlin, where today’s action took place. Peter Moore, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft was there to present the trophy and be the first to offer his congratulations to the triumphant team.

The team beat Mexico 2 – 1 in the gripping final to secure their places in football gaming history. In the first semi-final, host nation Germany went up against Mexico, they were dominant throughout the first half of the game and translated that into a goal early into the second half. However, the Mexicans fought back aggressively and won through in extra time with a final score of 2 – 1. The second semi-final saw neighbours Portugal and Spain going head-to-head with the Portuguese 2 – 0 up by halftime. Though the Spaniards came back valiantly in the second half, the final score read 3 – 2 to Portugal. When it came to the Grand Final, gaming foreshadowed reality, with the Portuguese emerging victorious just hours before their World Cup counterparts did the same in their quarter final match.

The Portuguese team is made up of Miguel Angelo Dinis, 28, and Antonio Luis Ferreira Gomes, 21. Joao Miguel Gouveia da Cruz Dias, 24, accompanied them as their ultimate fan. Miguel said “We are overjoyed! Today’s matches were incredible – the tension felt like a real World Cup final. I can’t believe that a few weeks ago my team were total strangers and now we’ll return together as national heroes! We plan to keep in touch via Xbox Live when we get home.”

Peter Moore, Corporate Vice President, Interactive Entertainment Business, Entertainment and Devices Division, said, “It was my honour to present these guys with their well deserved prize. The atmosphere today was absolutely phenomenal – truly the beautiful game at its best. It’s been a great tournament and the first of its kind on a next generation high definition console. Seeing the matches being played out on the Xbox 360 has been nearly as good as watching a real football match!”

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