EA Sports announced today that retired French soccer superstar Zinedine Zidane will be featured on the cover of the Ultimate Edition of FIFA 20, slated for release in September.
Alongside appearing on the cover sporting a classic Real Madrid jersey, Zidane will also be featured in the game as a playable attacking midfielder and as an ultra-rare ICON card in the FIFA Ultimate Team 20 game mode.
The Ultimate Edition is FIFA 20’s priciest special edition that includes the base game alongside a three-day early access jump-start, 24 rare gold packs for FUT, special edition FUT kits, and loan ICON items all designed to give players the edge in the competitive FUT ecosystem.
Last Friday, EA Sports revealed that Real Madrid and Belgium international Eden Hazard would adorn the cover of the Standard Edition of FIFA 20 while Liverpool defender and captain of the Netherlands international team Virgil van Dijk would star on the Champions Edition.
A Long Overdue ICON
By joining the exclusive ICON club, Zidane joins legends from the annals of soccer history such as Pelé, Diego Maradona, and Ronaldinho. Fans have been clamoring for what many see as one of the best players of all time to become an ICON, and EA has finally given in, adding in a cover spot for good measure. This year’s ICON roll call also includes Didier Drogba, Ronald Koeman, Ian Wright, and Andrea Pirlo.
The FUT mode sees players gather together a dream squad from randomly generated card packs bought via microtransactions and take on other players in an online skill-based division format.
The mode is among EA’s most lucrative ventures, as it reportedly accounts for 28% of EA’s total revenue. A FIFA player spent a staggering $16,000 over two years on FIFA FUT. A curated combination of in-depth player chemistry mechanics and the gambling-like appeal of the random card packs constitute an addictive formula.
Zidane’s First Appearance in Over a Decade
Zidane’s prowess and elegance with a soccer ball and countless accolades on his lengthy list of career achievements including a World Cup victory aside, he lives on in infamy for headbutting Italian Marco Materazzi during the final of the 2006 World Cup.
He retired shortly after the infamous incident and was removed from subsequent FIFA games as is common practice for retired players. FIFA 20 is, therefore, the first time the current manager of Real Madrid will be featured in a FIFA game in any capacity since FIFA 2006, which was released well over a decade ago.
Beyond adding a legend to the game, Zidane props up this year’s iteration of EA’s perennial footie offering after losing Cristiano Ronaldo and the Juventus naming rights license to Konami earlier this month.
There’s no word on whether his skill set will include a headbutting move though.
FIFA 20 hits store shelves on Sept. 27 on PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One.