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Every FIFA cover star in order ahead of EA Sports FC

Many amazing players have graced the box art of past FIFA games, and while the trend will continue in EA Sports FC, here's every FIFA cover star in order.

Every FIFA cover star: Sam Kerr and Kylian Mbappe

Who are the FIFA cover stars? After a run spanning roughly three decades, the FIFA era is over, as EA Sports rebrands the iconic soccer series to EA Sports FC. One way that fans will always envisage their favorite FIFA games is with that year’s iconic box art, and to mark the start of the new EA FC era, we thought it’d be fitting to look back at every FIFA cover star – especially now FIFA 23 Cover Star Icon cards are reportedly on the way to FIFA Ultimate Team.

From Kylian Mbappe, to Ronaldinho, to Sam Kerr, each FIFA cover has signified a movement in the world of football, setting the athletes up as legends of their game. But with 30 games now done and dusted, let’s go on a nostalgic journey as we explore which names made it onto that coveted cover and in what years. From 1993’s FIFA International Soccer, all the way up to FIFA 23, here are all the FIFA cover stars.

Here is every FIFA cover star in order of appearance:  

  • FIFA International Soccer (1993): David Platt and Piotr Swierczewski
  • FIFA Soccer 95: Erik Thorstvedt
  • FIFA Soccer 96: Andy Legg and Ioan Sabau
  • FIFA 97: David Ginola
  • FIFA 98: David Beckham
  • FIFA 99: Dennis Bergkamp
  • FIFA 2000: Sol Campbell
  • FIFA 2001: Paul Scholes
  • FIFA 2002: Thierry Henry
  • FIFA 2003: Robert Carlos, Ryan Giggs, and Edgar Davis
  • FIFA 2004: Alessandro Del Piero, Thierry Henry, and Ronaldinho
  • FIFA 2005: Patrick Vieira, Fernando Morientes, and Andriy Shevchenko
  • FIFA 06: Wayne Rooney and Ronaldinho
  • FIFA 07: Wayne Rooney and Ronaldinho
  • FIFA 08: Wayne Rooney and Ronaldinho
  • FIFA 09: Wayne Rooney and Ronaldinho
  • FIFA 10: Theo Walcott, Wayne Rooney, and Frank Lampard
  • FIFA 11: Kaka and Wayne Rooney
  • FIFA 12: Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere
  • FIFA 13: Lionel Messi
  • FIFA 14: Lionel Messi
  • FIFA 15: Eden Hazard and Lionel Messi
  • FIFA 16: Lionel Messi
  • FIFA 17: Marco Reus
  • FIFA 18: Cristiano Ronaldo
  • FIFA 19: Cristiano Ronaldo
  • FIFA 20: Eden Hazard and Virgil van Dijk (different covers)
  • FIFA 21: Kylian Mbappé
  • FIFA 22: Kylian Mbappé
  • FIFA 23: Kylian Mbappé and Sam Kerr

This is the full list of cover stars for the standard or Ultimate versions of FIFA that released each year, excluding any special edition covers such as regional-exclusive covers.

As you can see, no one’s quite managed to top Wayne Rooney’s seven appearances on FIFA covers. Mbappé seems to be sneaking up on him, but with Kerr’s ground-breaking inclusion this year, who knows what will happen by the time the EA Sports FC release date rolls around.

Every FIFA cover star: the covers of FIFA 04, FIFA 06, and FIFA 11 set against a green background

So many of the stars that graced past covers have gone on to be Icons and Heroes, such as Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho, and Andriy Shevchenko. Others maybe didn’t reach their full potential despite starring on a FIFA cover, such as the injury-hampered English midfielder Jack Wilshere. Meanwhile, the likes of Lionel Messi, Virgil van Dijk, and Kylian Mbappé are continuing to shine as some of the best soccer players on the planet.

The EA FC 24 cover star, Erling Haaland, will continue the tradition of highlighting the very best talent, but even so, it will mark the end of a memorable, star-studded era of excellent FIFA covers.

Every FIFA cover star: Haaland

While no longer seeing those iconic four bolded letters may feel odd to many – ourselves included – it’s certainly fitting that Haaland, who had a record-breaking year at Manchester City, has become the first FC 24 star. At just 23, Haaland represents a whole new era in world soccer, just as FC 24 represents a whole new era for the soccer series.

With the FC 24 release date rapidly approaching, be sure to get your FC 24 pre-orders in if you haven’t done so already. If you’re looking for further info before taking the plunge, check out our guides on FC 24 Ultimate Team, FC 24 Career Mode, and FC 24 Pro Clubs to learn more about everything new coming to the game’s most iconic modes. See you on the pitch.