Lionel Messi has suffered an epic snub at the hands of EA Sports after the new cover for FIFA 18 was unveiled, with the Argentine’s arch-nemesis, Cristiano Ronaldo, front and centre.
Messi had featured on four of the previous five FIFA covers but made the controversial switch over to Pro Evolution Soccer last season with Marco Reus and now the Portuguese stepping into the breach.
The move comes just days after Ronaldo bagged a brace in Real Madrid’s 4-1 Champions League final victory over Juventus in Cardiff. Those two goals saw Ronaldo move ahead of Messi as the competition’s top scorer.
The goals came at the end of a season in which the Argentine finished top scorer in La Liga but missed out on the title with the Portuguese and Los Blancos finishing just ahead of their Catalan rivals.
Now, in a fresh twist, Ronaldo has been unveiled as the cover star for the upcoming FIFA title, further eclipsing Messi in the process.
Incredibly, it’s the first time Ronaldo has featured on the front cover of a FIFA game, having previously appeared on a few past editions of Pro Evolution Soccer.
While the decision to feature Ronaldo on the cover has most likely been a long time coming, the timing may feel like a kick in the teeth to Messi, with the pair continuing to battle it out for the coveted, and entirely made up, title of the best player in the world.
EA Sports, for their part, appear to have nailed their colours to Ronaldo’s mast, taking to Instagram to unveil the new cover alongside the words “You’ve earned this.”
Winner of back-to-back Champions League titles as well as a La Liga crown and European Championship with Portugal, things could get even better for Ronaldo, with the striker in line to win the Confederations Cup, European Super Cup and Club World Championship over the next few months.
Messi might want to steer clear of football this summer.
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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.