Yes, the author of this piece is a Southampton fan. But that doesn’t mean the story will be in any way biased or overly enthusiastic.
EA’s recent agreements with footballing minnows Manchester City, Barcelona and Liverpool have been eclipsed this morning with the news that the mighty Southampton FC has been named as EA Sports’ newest official football video gaming partner.
As part of the deal, world-class Japanese Saints defender Maya Yoshida (who you have definitely heard of and probably have huge respect for) will star on FIFA 14’s cover in Japan alongside the lesser-known Lionel Messi. And VFL Wolfsburg’s Makoto Hasebe.
"We are very proud to announce our agreement with EA Sports as the exclusive Official Football Video Gaming Partner of Southampton Football Club,” said Southampton FC’s CCO Dominic Fawcett.
"EA Sports has a fantastic reputation globally within the sports entertainment industry, especially football games through the FIFA series."
Yoshida himself added: "It’s brilliant. I was really pleased when I heard that I would be on the cover of FIFA 14, and to be featuring alongside Messi is a great honour. It’s not only nice for me, but also for Southampton Football Club because the game is such a huge platform, so to be among the list of global cover stars means so much to me and the Club."
There were also these very fair words from EA Sports’ VP of marketing to Jamie McKinlay: "They showed last year that they belong in the Premier League, and we see it as a natural progression to work on a far closer one-to-one basis with the Club to provide exciting digital content and engagement for the fans."
It seems only right that EA now ensures that new England striker superstar Rickie Lambert has an overall stats score of at least 90 in FIFA 14, right? RIGHT?