Rumor: EA to Purchase Champions League Rights for FIFA 19

Sing it with me: THE CHAAAAAMPIONS. FIFA players the world over will be warming up their vocal chords and twiddling their thumbs in anticipation of FIFA 19 if this latest rumor holds some weight. The Champions League (and Europa League) may be making its long-awaited return to EA’s soccer sim.

As reported by Dutch outlet Sportnieuws.nl, sports commentator Evert ten Napel may have spilled the beans when it comes to EA’s acquisition of the UEFA license for its upcoming annual soccer title. Konami and PES, of course, had their license for the Champions and Europa League expire just last month.

This would mark the first time EA hold the rights to offer up Champions League and Europa League in-game licensing since way, way back in 2006, for the title UEFA Champions League 2006-07. Interestingly enough, that was the game that also marked the debut of the wildly-successful Ultimate Team mode.

While nothing has been officially confirmed, it’s clear that the rights to the virtual Champions League are still very much in abeyance, and you can bet UEFA won’t want that to be the case as they head past the World Cup and hurtling into the next season.

If the rumor is true – commentators have a knack for leaking information about FIFA games so it’s hardly an impossibility – then it would surely serve as a cruel blow to the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise, which relied on the Champions League license for its dose of real-life representation.

For now, though, FIFA 19 is looking likely to reclaim the Champions League crown. So sit down, pour yourself a pint of Gazprom (on second thoughts, maybe hold off on that last one) and start dreaming about striding out onto the virtual pitch with your team in European club football’s premiere competition. Just remember to sing the Champions League anthem…