EA Sports unveiled the players who will feature on the front cover of FIFA 13, and produced a major surprise with the omission of Wayne Rooney.
The Manchester United and England striker has been the poster boy for FIFA since appearing alongside Ronaldinho in the 2006 addition. However, the 26-year-old has left the franchise, and has been replaced by Arsenal starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and England goalkeeper Joe Hart on the new copy.
"Wayne and the FIFA franchise have achieved phenomenal success but the time feels right for both parties to explore other avenues," EA announced.
"We wish Wayne the very best of luck in the future and we look forward to him accomplishing even greater success for both club and country."
Oxlade-Chamberlain described his new place on the front cover of the game as a massive honour, whilst Manchester City stopper Hart admitted that the new release will provide his teammates with plenty of banter in the dressing room during the new season.
Both players were unveiled in a mock press conference at 6pm yesterday (Monday) evening, with Oxlade-Chamberlain live in the studio and Hart taking part via phone.
Global cover star Lionel Messi wasn’t involved, but is the main man for EA Sports around the world after defecting from great rival Pro Evolution Soccer. His move was a major blow for makers Konami, who moved swiftly to replace the mercurial Argentine with great Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
His teammate, Karim Benzema, features on the French front cover, whilst Juventus star Claudio Marchisio is on the Italian release of the game. Valencia hitman Roberto Soldado is on the Spanish cover, with the English version the latest to be revealed.
FIFA 13 will be released on September 28th in the UK – check out the latest trailer with only a month until it’s out for real here…