Lionel Messi's World Cup consolation prize: the cover of FIFA 15

Lionel Messi is the global cover star for EA Sports' FIFA 15, marking the third consecutive year the Argentine has graced the front of a soccer video game, and the seventh overall.

Messi, awarded the World Cup 2014 Golden Ball as the tournament's best player despite Argentina losing in the final on Sunday, appeared on the cover of FIFA 13 and FIFA 14. (He also appeared on the cover of 2012's FIFA Street). He was the cover star for Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer for three editions, 2009 to 2011.

Messi, widely considered the best player in the world, became an "EA Sports Football Ambassador" in 2011, making his cover selection again somewhat expected. He scored 28 goals for FC Barcelona this past season and then four in the World Cup.

FIFA 15, which launches Sept. 23 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, is experimenting with "emotional intelligence" to create more lifelike reactions in its players. It also will add more advanced team tactics and ball physics. For more on FIFA 15, see Polygon's preview from E3 2014.

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