MATCH catches up with Conran Tobin, aka Rannerz, to chat all about the life of a professional FIFA player!

HOW DID YOU START PLAYING FIFA PROFESSIONALLY?

RANNERZ SAYS: “I’ve always been a big fan of FIFA and football. The first one I played was FIFA 03, and I’ve been playing it ever since! Last year I qualified for a live event in Barcelona through FUT Champions Mode, so I went over and finished in the top 32. It got my name out there, and after that I won the Gfinity competition, then signed a pro contract from there!”

HOW IS PLAYING FOR ROMA?

RANNERZ SAYS: “It’s prestigious, especially when I went to Rome and sat with the players – it was so cool! I didn’t chat with them too much because they were playing against Juventus the next day, so I was just eating lunch with Kolarov and Dzeko chilling next to me! I support Chelsea so I guess it’d be a dream to play for them, but I can’t see myself moving any time soon.”

WHAT’S A NORMAL DAY LIKE FOR YOU?

RANNERZ SAYS: “I get up and have some food, and then play for about three hours. Then I take a break and do something different – whether that’s a board game, going to the gym or just watching TV – then play another three hours in the evening. You’ve got to clear your head because it can be very mentally draining. If you’re playing when you’re tired you’ll just play badly, and then it’s pretty pointless!”

HOW DO YOU WORK ON YOUR GAME?

RANNERZ SAYS: “You can go straight in and take on people at the same level on Division Rivals, which is good practice. Or, I can run through specific drills with my Roma team-mates and our coach. For example, I score a lot of long shots, so sometimes we set up a game where you’re not allowed to score from outside of the box. That forces me to improve my overall game!”

HOW DOES YOUR COACH HELP YOU IMPROVE?

RANNERZ SAYS: “My gameplay gets recorded and we watch it back, and he tells me how to improve. There are always weaknesses to work on – I’m good at defence, wing-play and long shots, but my finishing from inside the box isn’t so good. I’ve used some of the training drills this year to practise, but there’s nothing like an actual game!”

DO YOU PLAY AGAINST THE COMPUTER?

RANNERZ SAYS: “I never play against the AI because I think it lowers your level. It never changes the way it defends, whereas a human does, so you fall into the trap of trying stuff that works against the computer that wouldn’t work against an actual player. The best way is to play against people that are better than you!”