Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) announced today that soccer stars Andriy Shevchenko, Fernando Morientes, and Oswaldo Sanchez will serve as the North American spokesmen for FIFA Soccer 2005, scheduled for release this fall under the EA SPORTSâ„¢ brand. The FIFA Soccer franchise, celebrating its 11th season this year, introduces Sanchez and the entire 18-team Mexican League for the first time to the game.
"Becoming a FIFA cover athlete is an incredible honor," said Sanchez, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico. "I love EA SPORTS, especially the FIFA franchise. To think that my likeness is in the game, and that all the great teams from the Mexican League are now available, is tremendous."
All three soccer stars will appear on packaging and merchandising for FIFA Soccer 2005 in North America while Patrick Viera will replace Sanchez in the European territories. Shevchenko was the leading scorer for the Italian series A champions AC Milan last year. Spanish born Morientes is a three-time Champions League winner playing for Real Madrid and has scored more than 100 goals since joining the club in 1997. Sanchez, an emerging superstar in the Mexican league, currently serves as the captain of 10-time national champion Chivas.
"All three players represent the global importance of soccer and help make the FIFA franchise the most authentic and dominant video game on the market," said Matt Bilbey, Director of Worldwide Soccer for EA SPORTS. "Shevchenko, Morientes, Sanchez and Viera have each made a significant impact on the sport and each brings a wide range of personality and style to the FIFA Soccer franchise."
With an all-new animation system and first touch control, the FIFA Soccer franchise continues to set the standard as the most comprehensive soccer simulation ever created. The new animation system ensures that every button press is directly mirrored on the pitch, accurately reflecting the speed and vision of the world's greatest players. With a great first touch, gamers can trap and control the ball and use its momentum to knock it into space, flick it over a defender’s head, or show off and score glorious goals. Add in a deeper Dynasty Mode and EA SPORTS Online features and FIFA Soccer 2005 continues to deliver the ultimate soccer experience.