Lionel Messi will not be on EA Sports' FIFA 17 cover
Lionel Messi will be not be on the cover of FIFA 17, as things stand. The Argentinian has been on the cover of the best-selling game for the last four years, but with his contract set to run out this year, publisher EA Sports are rumoured to not be interested in renewing the Argentinian’s contract.
According to French newspaper L’Equipe, while Messi’s contract being renewed is not an impossibility, the likelihood of EA Sports paying Messi an increased amount for an endorsement might be too prohibitive for the gaming behemoth.
With Messi out of the picture, EA Sports cannot line up fellow Ballon d’Or nominees Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar as replacements, since the duo are contracted to EA’s rivals Konami, who publish FIFA’s competing game, Pro Evolution Soccer.
As the top 3 most marketable footballers are out of the running, EA Sports might go with an option from left-field, with Colombian star James Rodrigues said to be the publisher’s favoured choice to grace the cover of FIFA 17, although the Real Madrid midfielder might have to make a greater impact this season on the pitch.
Messi’s last involvement with endorsing FIFA took place last Christmas, as he appeared in an advert with fellow Argentinian Sergio Aguero for the game.
When Messi signed the contract in 2013, the Argentinian replaced England superstar Wayne Rooney, who had appeared on FIFA’s covers for seven consecutive years (2006-2012).
FIFA is the world’s best-selling video game franchise, having sold more than a 100 million copies worldwide since it’s inception in 1993. It has been localised into 18 languages and 51 different editions for different countries.
Messi appeared with applicable stars in the localised editions, with FIFA 16 being unique in featuring female stars Alex Morgan, Steph Catley and Christine Sinclair to promote EA Sports’ inclusion of Women’s National Teams in its team roster.