Gianni Torchio (Italy)


I've grown tired of praising Gianni's Kick Off 2 skills over the years, and to be honest I have run out of things to say! So instead, I'm going to give you some random statistics. Did you know that if Gianni had won one more game in Athens, he would have reached 1.000 points in World Cups? He now has 998. He has played in 60% of all finals. His name is engraved on 25% of the little shields of the Holly Shied. He has scored more goals than all players from The Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland combined. Oh, and he also won the Top Scorer Trophy. For the 8th time. Can I go now?   

Lorenzo Lozito (Italy)


It is hard to describe Lorenzo's amazing achievement in Athens, you just had to be there to witness it. There have been a lot of players in the past who started humbly and ended up making to the final, and it is certainly not that uncommon for an Italian. But that's not exactly what happened in his case; the best way to describe it would be to say that he reached the top before reaching his peak. His gaming style is not that different than what it used to be, but he got the results he needed by sheer focus and tactical brilliance. The Exceeding Expectations trophy was well deserved.

Fabio Fichera (Italy)


Fabio has established himself among the KOA's elite, as this is the third tournament in a row where he reaches the semi-finals. He arrived there with 16 wins in 16 games and looked ready to repeat his 2018 triumph, but this time Gianni has the answer to his ever changing tactics and lethal attacks, keeping him down to a total of 5 goals compared to the 12 he had scored against him in the Bournemouth final. He had the 2nd best goal average of the competition.

Christopher Durrans (Norway)


One of the best Kick Off 2 players who has yet to play in a final, if not the best, Chris came closer than ever to the dream spot of every KOAer but he too succumbed to Lorenzo's great defensive skills, not to mention a great deal of anxiety. He had the second best defense of the tournament and the feeling that his shot at the title is just around the corner is stronger than ever.  

Thor Egil Skaug (Norway)


Looking at the quarter finals, the one between Thor and Lorenzo appeared to be the one with the most obvious winner. On the one hand was one of the definite favourites for the title, on the other was a man who was probably content to make it to the Top 8. But time and time in Kick Off 2 World Cups it's been proven that things are not always as they seem. Thor still had the third best goal average of the tournament.

Mario Fichera (Italy)


Although he's never come close to repeating his 2nd place in 2006, Mario -who had his son on his shoulder this year- has shown impressive consistency by making it to the quarter finals in four out of the past five World Cups that he attended. He certainly influenced the fate of the tournament greatly, by building Lorenzo's joystick!

Spyros Paraschis (Greece)


Spyros had an unfair advantage in the 20th Kick Off 2 World Cup. After a basketball injury just before the event, he needed stitches on his eyelid. As a result, his usual puppy eyes were replaced by a ferocious look which obviously threw his opponents off guard. He's a guaranteed quarter finalist, having missed that stage only twice in 10 World Cups, with the last one dating in the distant 2004.

Robert Swift (England) 


This is the 5th time that Robert goes to Athens to play Kick Off 2. In the previous tournaments (two World Cups and two international events), the results had been rather disappointing for him. He particularly had trouble competing against Greek players. Look at him now, peering down at 9 out of the 10 Greeks of the competition from his 8th place.

Alkis Polyrakis (Greece)


Spartacus Blood and Sand, Episode 2, 41:12.

Alessandro Verrani (Italy)


Alessandro had his chance to return to the quarter finals for the first time since 2010, and after a spectacular 11-4 against Nikos, that looked very probable. But his offensive skills seemed to abandon him against the English, as he only scored 1 goal against each of Steve and Robert. He took home a Lifetime Achievement Award so he will still remember Athens fondly.

Panayotis Pantazis (Greece)


Had Panayotis spent as much time practicing as he did organising the dining places and taking everyone's orders, he would have won the World Cup. As it was, 11th place was the lowest he got in the 5 competitions that he attended, but at least he had the best tattoo of the tournament.

Nikos Andreou (Greece)


Saturday Nikos was reminiscent of the player who was a serious threat in the 00s, as he finished 2nd in his group with 6 wins and a narrow defeat to Fabio. He seemed to run out of steam on Sunday, when his loss to Robert in particular cost him dearly.

Steve Camber (England)


The same comments that I wrote about Nikos pretty much apply in Steve's case as well. Topping his Round 1 group is not unprecedented for him, he did it twice above Gianni in Duesserldorf and Landskrona, but he couldn't keep up this pace in Round 2.

Steve Baker (England)


Steve played his first KOA tournament in the distant 2005, but disappeared after a few months before returning to action for the 2018 World Cup. His custom made joystick was voted as the most impressive one in the competition.

Frank Fuhrmann (Germany)


Frank feels comfortably in the 9-16 positions, as this his 5th consecutive World Cup and 9th overall that he landed there. He also likes to draw a lot; he added three more draws to his collection to reach 31, only three people in the KOA have more draws in World Cups than he does.

Samu Gómez (Spain)


The rookie of the year, Samu managed a very respectable first appearance in Athens after having competed in three Jerez tournaments and countless of online matches. Not many newcomers return home with the scalps of the likes of Alkis and Ektoras on their belts.

Gabriele Giacomini (Italy)


The newest entry of what appears to be an unlimited supply of quality Italian players, Gabriele could have made it to the Top 16 but missed it mainly because of Samu's victory against Alkis. I'm sure he didn't mind as he ended up winning the Silver Cup and Best Defense trophy, with an impressive 8/8 win Sunday record.

Rodolfo Martin (Spain)


Rodolfo did well to top his Round 2 group against Ektoras and Ian and he made it to his 6th Silver Cup final, before succumbing to Gabriele. He had the 8th best goal average of the World Cup, the highest among Silver Cup players.

Fran Sendra (Spain)


The qualification battle in Group A was fierce, and Fran only missed the Top 16 by a single point. He was the 6th best defender of the competition, and his attack average was the second best of the Silver Cup players.

Ektoras Kapsoulis (Greece)


Ektoras was not on his top form in this World Cup, in fact the 20th position was the lowest of his career. I'm sure that this is just a temporary setback and that he will bounce back to his usual standards in the future.

George Kakaletris (Greece)


A good overall performance for George. Looking at his results reveals that all of his defeats were close with the exception of the game against Gianni, and he had the 7th best defense of the tournament.

Ian Kay (England)


After making it to the Top 16 in Bremen, the man with the perpetual smile on his face returned to his usual 19-24 positions, where he has landed in four out of the five World Cups he's been in.

Vasilis Kafiris (Greece)


A very uneven performance for Vasilis, who seemed to give his best performances against the hardest players and lose all the matches where he theoretically had a fighting chance. How else can someone end up last in his group after drawing against Lorenzo, Samu and Ektoras? He was the 5th best defender in Athens.

Klaus Lederer (Austria)


One of the few players who were present in the very first World Cup in Dartford and remains active. Klaus could have made it to the Top 16 if it weren't for a draw against Jaume.

Kostas Oikonomopoulos (Greece)


A performance from Kostas not unlike the one he displayed in the first World Cup he attended in 2008. His results were again on a par with his expected skills, as he beats the players seeded below him and loses to the ones seeded above him.

Michele Lorenzetti (Greece)


This is the 9th consecutive appearance in a Kick Off 2 World Cup for Michelone, who has never let go of the KOA since he found out about it. Although his results have not improved much over time, this is the kind of commitment that is needed for the Association to keep going.

Cornelius Henze (Germany)


Cornelius is another player who is very consistent in his final positions. This is the 6th World Cup in a row that he ends up between places 23-29.

Manfred Schlei (Germany)


Manfred did not gain a single point on Saturday, and as a result he competed in the Game of Shame, which he lost on penalty kicks. That seemed to get him going, as he got two wins an a draw in Round 2.

Kostas Kakaletris (Greece)


This year's weird format somehow made Kostas land on the Bronze Cup final, which he promptly won, so he was the only non-Italian who got a trophy in Athens. It should be noted that just like his brother, he is a keyboard player.

Jaume Perello (Spain)


30th place seems kind of harsh for Jaume, considering how close he came to making it to the Top 16. His defense is above par, but he needs to learn some standard goals as his attack was the 4th worst of the competition.

Antonis Trikas (Greece)


Antonis' 7-0 victory against Hannes was his biggest one in over 200 KOA matches, so he will have that to remember from the 20th Kick Off 2 World Cup. That, and the fact that he dared to play Sensible Soccer during one!

Hannes Badrnya (Austria)


This weekend was full of defeats for Hannes, who nevertheless showed the necessary cold blood to win the Game of Shame with 5 perfectly executed penalty kicks.