Lionel Messi has been signed by EA Sports in a multi-year contract deal.
The Argentine player's new role as the face of the sports video games giant marks the biggest transfer deal of the season. Messi, the world's most sought-after striker at the moment, will become the global face of the EA Sports FIFA Soccer franchise as part of the deal.
"I want to be part of the team behind the best sports game in the world and be associated with the great EA Sports name. EA Sports is a brand that shares my values of creativity, excellence and social responsibility," Messi has said.
The FIFA Ballon d'Or 2010 winner, who now plays for Barcelona, will make his debut in March next year on the cover of FIFA Street.
In his role EA Sports Ambassador, Messi will become the cornerstone of marketing and advertising campaigns, featured on packaging, and utilised in social media activities around the world for the critically acclaimed FIFA Soccer franchise. EA Sports will also team up with the Leo Messi Foundation to support social, educational and healthcare related initiatives for children around the world.
"Our FIFA franchise is the number one selling sports video game franchise in the world, and Lionel Messi is the number one player in the world, so this agreement is a true partnership of superstars. 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," said Matt Bilbey, vice-president and GM of Soccer, EA Sports.