With the football season right around the corner, that means brand new video games are too.
Game creators like to drip-feed fans information about the games, often beginning with the cover stars. Some do the job of getting you hyped up to play, but others just leave you scratching your head, and there have been plenty of those in the past.
Here are seven of the weirdest video game cover stars in history.
iotr Swierczewski - FIFA International Soccer
Piotr Świerczewski (wraz z Davidem Plattem) na okładce "FIFA International Soccer" z 1993 roku (EA Sports).— Mateusz Kalina (@Kali_beer) May 11, 2018
Stawiam, że to pierwszy taki przypadek, by polski piłkarz znalazł się na okładce gry komputerowej pic.twitter.com/P1M9jPfli3
Let me set the scene for you. It's 1993, and EA Sports are about to make the first game in the FIFA franchise. They need someone big on the cover to introduce themselves to the world, right?
Clearly they didn't agree, because they went with David Platt and Piotr Swierczewski on the cover of FIFA International Soccer. Platt was questionable enough, but including Swierczewski was odd, to say the least.
Erik Thorstvedt - FIFA Soccer 95
Found it........ Erik Thorstvedt on the front cover of FIFA 95 pic.twitter.com/JnWMIaa3AX— Spurs Debate (@spursdebate) July 16, 2013
By the time the next instalment in their series came about, EA Sports clearly wanted a little bit more star power on the cover of FIFA Soccer 95. With the 1994 World Cup fresh in the memory, they could have chosen a number of emerging stars from the tournament.
Yet, they opted to go with Norway goalkeeper Erik Thorstvedt, who was powerless to stop his country being eliminated from the group stages in the previous summer. Not exactly the biggest hero of the competition.
Andy Legg - FIFA Soccer 96
One day, the FIFA series will get their cover stars right, but that day did not come in 1995.
The cover of FIFA Soccer 96 was graced by Brescia midfielder Ioan Sabia and, even more bizarrely, Notts County's Andy Legg. The same Andy Legg who became known for his terrifyingly impressive long throws.
Pierluigi Collina - PES 3
They’ll always say....“Yeah he’s a great ref but could he do it on a wet Wednesday night in Wigan?”— Born Offside (@bornoffsideuk) February 13, 2019
Happy Birthday Pierluigi Collina, the only ref cool enough to be on the cover of Pro Evo#themwerethedays #winnerstayson #pes #ps2 #playstation #pierluigicollina #bornoffside pic.twitter.com/uqTxJ8HmbX
Soccer 3 was actually pretty cool. It was different and had not been done by a popular game, but it was also just a bit odd.
They went from having pictures of generic footballers to the piercing stare of Collina, before quickly going to actual professional stars like Thierry Henry and John Terry.
It was definitely one of the most iconic covers, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a strange choice.
Fernando Morientes - FIFA 2005
Pues en la portada de Fifa 96 sale Jason McAteer que jugaba en el Liverpool, también sale Fernando Morientes en la portada de Fifa 2005 pic.twitter.com/VWS0SWrhGb— Jony Jensen (@Jony_Jensen) July 26, 2019
Make no mistake about it, Fernando Morientes was a fantastic player. However, he definitely wasn't at the peak of his powers when FIFA 2005 came out.
He had fallen out of favour at Real Madrid and didn't score in any of his 13 La Liga appearances in the first half of the season, before he was ultimately sold to Liverpool. Things weren't exactly much better at Anfield, where he managed just three goals before the end of the year.
He certainly deserved his place on an earlier version of FIFA, but the 2005 edition was not the right choice.
Peter Crouch - FIFA Street 3
To this day I still can't understand how Peter Crouch made it on the cover of FIFA Street 3... Mind boggling stuff pic.twitter.com/jz5FsqqJyF— J (@Jfcx_8) March 14, 2017
Now, when you think of skill moves, you think of Ronaldinho. He was a good inclusion on the cover of FIFA Street 3. But he was next to both Gennaro Gattuso and Peter Crouch. Right then.
You could have either Gattuso or Crouch on this list, but Crouchy just seems that little bit stranger. When was the last time you saw the recently retired striker whip out an elastico or a rainbow flick?
The entire point of the game is that it was possible to pull off such moves with Crouch or Gattuso, but that's beside the point. It was odd.
Scott McTominay - PES 2020
The Scottish midfielder isn't even a regular with Manchester United, but PES has immortalised him alongside Messi.
Nobody really knows why, but few actually care. Fans are just enjoying this moment, believing that McTominay is one of the greatest players alive.