For the first time Colombia’s soccer league, Liga Postobon, will feature in the FIFA videogame franchise, with striker Radamel Falcao to be on the front cover of the Latin American version.
The league’s inclusion in FIFA 2014 reflects the growing global stature of Colombian soccer, with players like Falcao and Jackson Martinez making waves in Europe, and the national team now ranked 3rd in the world, ahead of traditional South American heavyweights Argentina (4th) and Brazil (9th).
The last edition of the videogame, for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, sold 3.2 million copies in its first week, and 14.5 million copies in a year. FIFA 2014 will be launched on September 24.
“It’s better that youngsters play with their favorite team than with some team from another country,” said Ramon Jesurum, president of Dimayor, the governing body of Colombian football. The contract with EA Sports, the makers of the FIFA franchise, is expected to generate around $1 million for Dimayor, and will last for 3 years.
On the front cover of the Latin American version of the game will be the faces of Argentine Leo Messi, the best player in the world, Chilean Arturo Vidal, who plays for Juventus in Italy, and Colombia’s own Falcao, who moved to Monaco in the Summer for $77 million, becoming the 7th most expensive player in history.
The Colombian striker on Wednesday released a series of wristbands with the aim of giving something back to his homeland. All profits from the sales of these wristbands will go towards helping disadvantaged children in Colombia. They come in yellow, blue and red, the colors of the national flag, with each one saying ‘FALCAO’, having a copy of his signature, and a holographic figure of a tiger; the striker’s nickname is “El Tigre”.
At the presentation of the wristbands Falcao said, “Thinking about those kids in my country who are vulnerable and at risk, I created these wristbands that carry my name.”
The Colombia national team is currently in second place in the qualification table for the World Cup in Brazil 2014, three points behind Argentina but with a game in hand. Falcao is an injury doubt for Colombia’s next qualifier on Friday against Ecuador.
Falcao presenta su manilla por los niños de Colombia (Publimetro)