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Zlatan Ibrahimovic claims FIFA 21 is using his likeness "without any agreement," EA disagrees

Zlatan
(Image credit: EA Sports)

Footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic claims that EA and its FIFA franchise have been "making a profit on my name and face without any agreement." In a pair of tweets, the Sweden and AC Milan striker said that it was "time to investigate" how he had come to be included in the FIFA series "without any real knowledge."

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Last night, the former Manchester United, LA Galaxy, and PSG player took to Twitter to ask "who gave FIFA EA Sport permission to use my name and face?" Referring to FIFPro, an international organisation representing 65,000 professional footballers that EA works with, Ibrahimovic said that he was "not aware" of his membership, and that "if I am [a member] I was put there without any real knowledge through some weird maneuver." In a follow-up tweet, he claimed that "somebody is making profit on my name and face without any agreement all these years."

In a statement given to Eurogamer, EA said that it had a "long-standing relationship" with FIFPro, which in turn partners with several licensors to negotiate deals with teams and players. More importantly, however, earlier this year EA Sports snapped up the licenses for both AC Milan and Inter Milan after the clubs chose not to renew with PES developer Konami. That deal gave EA the right to each teams' kits, stadia, and player likenesses - a detail that pretty directly explains why Ibrahimovic's name and face can be used in the game.

At 39, one might imagine that Zlatan won't have to worry about EA including him in its games for too much longer, but as long as he's playing with AC Milan and this deal stands, it's pretty likely that he'll carry on showing up.

If you'd like to fill your team with players who know how licensing works (and, you know, are also good at football), check out our FIFA 21 ratings.

Ali Jones

I'm GamesRadar's deputy news editor, working with Ben T across our gaming news articles. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.