EA Sports has announced its signed Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi - and former face of rival Pro Evolution Soccer - as "the global face of the EA SPORTS FIFA franchise."
"The biggest transfer deal this football season sees the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2010 winner transfer to EA SPORTS and make his debut in March, 2012 on the cover of FIFA Street," the publisher proudly states in its announcement.
The multi-faceted partnership will see Messi become an EA SPORTS Football Ambassador, it says, and "the cornerstone" of marketing and advertising campaigns, featured on packaging, and utilized in social media activities around the world.
EA SPORTS will also team up with the Leo Messi Foundation to support social, educational and health care related initiatives for children around the world.
FIFA 12 outselling PES 25 to 1 might've had something to do with it too.
"Our FIFA franchise is the number one selling sports videogame franchise in the world, and Lionel Messi is the number one player in the world, so this agreement is a true partnership of superstars," said Matt Bilbey, Vice President and GM of Football, EA SPORTS.
"With Messi on our team we have the world's best and most exciting player to help EA SPORTS maintain its global leadership in the years ahead."
Messi added: "I want to be part of the team behind the best sports football game in the world and be associated with the great EA SPORTS name," said Messi. "EA SPORTS is a brand that shares my values of creativity, excellence and social responsibility."