Messi & Barcelona to star in eFootball PES 2020

The Spanish champions and Konami have extended their deal for another four years for the game, which is a rival to EA Sports' annual FIFA release

Barcelona and Konami have renewed their global partnership agreement for the Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) franchise through 2023.

The announcement of the extended agreement coincides with the unveiling of one of Konami’s biggest annual releases, rebranded as eFootball PES 2020

Lionel Messi will adorn the front cover, following in the footsteps of team-mates Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho who appeared on the previous two editions.

Furthermore, Konami will be releasing a special Barcelona edition of the game at the club’s shop at Camp Nou. Fans can also vote to decide on the cover.

The renewed arrangement also sees Konami become the club’s official esports soccer video gaming partner, with collaborations planned at future events.

In April, Barcelona ventured further into the esports market by signing a team to compete in the Rocket League. It already had a team in eFootball.Pro, a PES league developed by Konami and Gerard Pique.

As well as teaming up for the release of eFootball PES 2020, Konami branding will appear on the inside and outside of Camp Nou, with the company having access to the Spanish league champions' players for promotional purposes.

Josep Pont, the commercial lead on the Barcelona board, said: "Our relationship began three years ago and this new agreement as global partners is testament to our shared journey, with clear commitment to the quest for excellence and to such common values as effort, teamwork and respect.

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"It also reinforces our commitment to connecting with fans all around through the esports universe."

Jonas Lygaard, senior director brand and business development of Konami, added: “FC Barcelona has been a loyal and a trusted partner for our company for the last three years and we are thrilled to have them by our side as we launch our most ambitious title yet in the PES series – eFootball PES 2020.

"FC Barcelona shares our own ambition for eFootball and together, we shall take sport to new heights."