With EA’s FIFA 21 release, fans were treated to the first edition of the franchise to arrive on the next-generation consoles. Excitement was much higher as the game’s graphics and gameplay were revealed for Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X/S consoles.
The game ended up rated at 74 on Metacritic for the next-gen, with a 77 rating on Xbox One and 72 on the PS4. Fans are hoping for improvements when the FIFA 22 release date arrives later this year. We’ve got some cover star and release date predictions here ahead of the official details.
Which athlete will be the new game’s cover star?
With FIFA 21 cover star, EA made the wise choice of international star Kylian Mbappe to grace the covers of various editions. Mbappe was the only cover star for the game, but several ambassadors were also revealed for the game, including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Erling Haaland, and João Félix.
FIFA 20 featured three different covers. Eden Hazard was on the Regular Edition with Virgil van Dijk on the Champions Edition. The Ultimate Edition featured Zinedine Zidane on the cover. On prior covers, fans saw Cristian Ronaldo on the front of EA’s game.
With FIFA 22, they may stick with Kylian Mbappe due to his international appeal and popularity. However, there are several other athletes worthy of gracing the cover.
Ronaldo won The Best FIFA Men’s Player awards in 2016 and 2017. However, in the past several years, there have been several other winners of the award, one of whom could grace the new cover.
In 2020, Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski bested Ronaldo in the voting to claim the award. Lewandowski leads all players in goals scored with 39, followed by Messi at 29, and Ronaldo at 27. He’d be a fitting candidate to appear on the cover as he also appears to be popular amongst FIFA fans.
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi won the award in 2019, defeating cover star Virgil van Dijk. Messi is always a good choice to represent the EA game based on being one of the game’s all-time greats, and he’s been on the cover before, so he’d be a familiar face.
Last but not least is Luka Modric, the 2018 winner of the award. The Real Madrid star has never appeared on a FIFA cover, unlike other players mentioned above.
Of course, FIFA could shock everyone by putting a young rising star on the game’s cover, such as one of the FIFA 21 ambassadors. Joao Felix and Erling Haaland seem like good choices, should EA opt to go that route.
When is the FIFA 22 release date for current and next-gen?
While there are no official details, we can speculate on a FIFA 22 release date based on previous releases. For example, the FIFA 21 standard edition was released on October 9, 2020, for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. The next-gen version came out on December 3, 2020, for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S after the consoles’ release dates.
Looking back at other release dates for EA’s soccer game, FIFA 20 came out on September 27, 2019, and FIFA 19 came out on September 28, 2018. The FIFA 18 game had a release date of September 29, 2017. Based on those, we think EA may aim for a late September release date again, but they could wait until early October as well.
Except for FIFA 21, the game’s release date has typically been the last Friday in September. So if EA’s FIFA 22 release date follows that pattern, we may see the game arrive on September 24, the last Friday of the month, or Friday, October 1, 2021.
October 8, 2021, might be the latest possible release date to expect FIFA 22 by. Stay tuned as EA is sure to release more details in the coming weeks.
Visit VGR’s FIFA news page to get more updates about the international football game.