EA say they're 'celebrating different talent' with decision to replace Cristiano Ronaldo as FIFA 19 cover star

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You know you’ve made it when you grace the front cover of a FIFA game.

It must be a huge honour for any player to appear on the front of the world’s most popular football game.

Some of the finest players in history have been used, including Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos, Kaka and Lionel Messi.

But since FIFA 18, released in September 2017, Cristiano Ronaldo has been the global cover star.

Ronaldo’s worldwide popularity is enormous - he is the most-followed person on Instagram with 155 million followers - and so EA jumped at the chance to feature him on their game.

The Portuguese forward even has an audible role in FIFA 18 in The Journey, speaking to Alex Hunter before and after a match.

But the new edition of FIFA 19 available to purchase has a new cover - and Ronaldo is no longer on it.

Ronaldo dropped as cover star

When FIFA 19 was first released in September 2018, Ronaldo was on the front.

THE OLD COVER

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Now, Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Ronaldo’s Juventus teammate Paulo Dybala feature on the case.

THE NEW COVER

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New menu images

Not only was Ronaldo on the front cover, but he appeared in the game’s main menus too.

Now, the aforementioned trio appear on the game’s log-in page and US women’s star Alex Morgan is seen in the menu.

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An EA spokesperson told Eurogamer the rebrand is in aid of the Champions League, which returned with the knockout rounds last week.

This is the first year that the Champions League has featured in a FIFA game.

"With the UEFA Champions League coming to EA Sports FIFA 19 this year, we have a unique opportunity to offer a range of new content to players that reflects the real-world excitement of football," EA’s statement said.

“We often celebrate different talent across our sports games, and with the UEFA Champions League knockout stages underway we are featuring some of the biggest stars in football and bringing new players a range of content to get excited about."

Eurogamer also make a reference to Ronaldo’s tax case. The 34-year-old accepted a £16.6 million fine over tax evasion charges in January.

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