AMSTERDAM — Manchester City striker Erling Haaland will be the first cover star of EA Sports FC since the globally popular football game ended its three-decade partnership with FIFA.
Haaland, 22, takes over as the face of the game from Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe and Chelsea’s Sam Kerr, who both adorned the cover of FIFA 23 last year.
The Norway international takes the honour after finishing a historic first season at City, helping them win a treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup titles.
His 52 goals for City included 36 in the Premier League in just 35 appearances, a record in a single season for the division since its inception in 1992.
Standing in front of a giant screen displaying him on the cover at the launch event in Amsterdam, he said in typically understated fashion: “I like it. It’s a dream. … To be on the cover, it’s really nice.”
Electronic Arts announced last year that it would stop making its football simulation game with the FIFA name, marking a split in one of soccer’s most successful and lucrative partnerships after the sides failed to strike a new licensing deal.
Instead, the California company will be launching EA Sports FC in September.
Though EA Sports FC will be unable to include FIFA content, such as the World Cup, it retains licensing deals with elite competitions including both the men’s and women’s UEFA Champions Leagues, the Premier League, LaLiga and the Bundesliga.