By 90Min
July 31, 2019

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.


Piotr Swierczewski - FIFA International Soccer

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.

He had just left Polish side GKS Katowice to join Saint-Etienne, so there were definitely bigger names around at the time. His career was unspectacular, but at least he is part of video game history. 


Erik Thorstvedt - FIFA Soccer 95

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.

He did have plenty of experience in the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur, so it's not like people didn't know who he was. They just didn't really care.


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.

Recent games have features the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but the pair will always live in the shadow of Legg.


Pierluigi Collina - PES 3

To be honest, the fact that iconic referee Pierluigi Collina was on the cover of Pro Evolution 

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

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

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

eFootball PES 2020 is nearing release. To build excitement, Konami released the cover art for the game, and fans loved it. There was Lionel Messi, Miralem Pjanic, Serge Gnabry and, erm, Scott McTominay?


Not David de Gea. Not Paul Pogba. Not Marcus Rashford. McTominay.

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. 

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