Soccer star Zinedine Zidane will be the FIFA 20 Ultimate Edition cover star. Every year, another Electronic Arts FIFA game hits store shelves. While not necessarily a favorite of core gamers, the series remains one of the top-selling annual franchises. Alongside other sports titles like Madden, NBA 2K, and MLB: The Show, FIFA has a significant audience beyond the typical video game fandom, though its tight soccer gameplay has earned the series a sizeable following outside of die-hard sports fans.
Aside from the stellar gameplay and predatory monetization, one aspect of FIFA that is always talked about is Electronic Arts’ choice of cover athlete. Over the years, such stars as Cristiano Ronaldo, David Ginola, and Wayne Rooney have graced the cover of the annual franchise, and it is considered a great honor to be chosen to be the face of FIFA video games for a year. Some games feature multiple cover athletes, either by having many on a single cover, or by changing the packaging by region. Recently, multiple cover athletes have come about through EA offering pricier versions of the game with different packaging and other bells and whistles to entice prospective buyers into paying a premium for the “best” version of the new FIFA.
This year, FIFA 20 features three editions for players to purchase, with each featuring a different athlete. The Standard Edition features Eden Hazard, and the Champion Edition features Virgil van Dijk on the packaging. Finally, the cover athlete for the Ultimate Edition has been revealed: Zinedine Zidane, the manager of Real Madrid.
While some younger soccer enthusiasts may only know Zidane as the manager of the team, true fans are well aware of his legendary career in the sport, as well as his equally legendary temper tantrums, which sometimes got him into trouble. Most famously, during his final match on the field, playing for France in the 2006 World Cup Final, Zidane knocked an opponent to the grass with a brutal headbutt, allegedly after being provoked by a disparaging verbal assault. Over his career, Zidane amassed no fewer than 14 red cards, most of which were due to his overly aggressive response to other players. Regardless, Zidane is still hailed as one of the all-time greats in soccer, and for good reason.
Nowadays, Zidane works hard behind-the-scenes to make sure Real Madrid stays on top, but thanks to the power of video games, fans will get to use him as an Icon in the Ultimate Team mode. This marks Zidane’s first appearance in a FIFA game since his retirement from soccer back in 2006, and his inclusion has long been requested by fans. Zidane’s zealots will finally get their wish when FIFA 20 releases on September 27, 2019.