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Italian giants Napoli to be exclusive to PES 2023

PES 2021
(Image credit: Konami)

Bid farewell to Diego Maradona's former club Napoli if you're already making long-term plans for FIFA 23 – Japanese publisher Konami has announced that the Italian side will be exclusive to its own football sim, PES 2023, out next year.

And no, those numbers aren't typos – while a marketing deal with Napoli begins in the 2021/22 season, and means even more official player faces in PES 2022, the exclusivity element doesn't kick in until next summer.

That means that you will get the real Napoli in FIFA 22, before the club joins Juventus and Roma in exiting EA's all-conquering football series. 

PES 2021

(Image credit: Konami)

There's a surprise real-life element to the Konami-Napoli partnership: the club's practise facilities are to adopt the name of Pro Evo's publisher, and from July 1 will be known as the “SSC Napoli KONAMI Training Center”. Their capital letters, not GR's.

"We are delighted to launch this exclusive partnership with an innovative, international brand such as Konami to create content and unique experiences for Napoli fans," says the club's chief international development officer Serena Salvione. "Konami has further tied its name to the Napoli brand by acquiring the naming rights to the training ground. This partnership is the latest step in the wider drive towards internationalisation of the Napoli brand that the club has been working on in recent years.”

Napoli won the 2019-2020 Coppa Italia and made the last 32 of this year's Europa League, before being surprisingly knocked out by Granada. Star players in FIFA 21 Ultimate Team include Kalidou Koulibaly (CB, 88), Lorenzo Insigne (LW, 85), and Dries Mertens (CF, 85).

Looking for more Ultimate Team stars to add to your endgame squad? Then jump right on over to our FIFA 21 TOTS guide.

I'm GamesRadar's sports editor, and obsessed with NFL, WWE, MLB, AEW, and occasionally things that don't have a three-letter acronym – such as Chvrches, Bill Bryson, and Streets Of Rage 4. (All the Streets Of Rage games, actually.) Even after three decades I still have a soft spot for Euro Boss on the Amstrad CPC 464+.