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King kicks off FIFA WC tourney

Son of a pitch! Ledley King is the latest big name signing as Xbox World Cup fever mounts

Spurs defender and England prospect Ledley King is today's big name signing for Microsoft and Electronic Arts as they launch a bid to bring virtual Xbox footballing glory back to dear old Blighty, to accompany our undoubted triumph at the real World Cup this summer (well we can but dream).

EA and MS have teamed up to launch a virtual Xbox tournament on EA's official 360 2006 World Cup Germany game, where 32 gaming teams from across the globe will line-up in Berlin to provide a parallel tourney to the real-life festival of football.

Three gamers will be chosen to represent the UK in the Xbox tournament, with two players being accompanied by an Ultimate Fan supporter. How do you qualify? Well in theory, it's easy enough, with the first player being chosen from an online leader board on Xbox Live which is due to kick off on April 28 this very month. You just have to be the best online FIFA player in Britain and stay top of the league - sounds simple enough.

Player two will be chosen from a Nationwide Powerleague compo (details pending) and the Ultimate Fan gets their chance on the new Xbox Cup web site which launches today. All winners will receive tickets to a FIFA World Cup quarter final match courtesy of fellow sponsors Adidas, alongside a load of Adidas kit and an Xbox 360 console complete with the latest EA games.

With ticket allocations being what they are, this is probably your last best chance of reaching Germany this summer and so it's probably time to start polishing your footy skills and strategy ready for battle to commence. Competition will undoubtedly be fierce.

To give you a welcome taster of what you can expect, we've uploaded the latest FIFA World Cup video, featuring Italy versus the USA and we'll leave you with the words of Ledley King himself who said of the opportunity: "It's great to be involved with the Xbox Cup giving gamers the chance to come out and compete in Germany this summer. Although I really enjoying playing football games to relax between games I don't know about my chances if I had to take on opponents in the Xbox Cup, I think I'm better off on the pitch!"