EA Sports has axed Cristiano Ronaldo as FIFA 19’s cover star, replacing him with Neymar, Paolo Dybala and Kevin de Bruyne.
The move comes a month after Ronaldo was fined €18.8 million by a Madrid court for tax offences, and four months after the Juventus player was hit by allegations of a 2009 rape in Las Vegas. But EA Sports claims that the rebranding has merely been designed to mark the resumption of the Champions League, whose knockout phase just kicked off.
In a statement to Eurogamer, EA Sports said: “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. 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.”
It has been pointed out that, in common with Juventus team-mate Dybala, one of the game’s new cover stars, Ronaldo is still very much involved in the Champions League, so despite EA Sports’ attempt at a positive spin, it looks very much as though he has been consciously dropped from the box art.
For further FIFA 19 news, visit the game’s website.