Ciaran O’Connor to be cover star of FIFA 16 alongside Lionel Messi

EA SPORTS" are celebrating the launch of FIFA 16 with the creation of an exclusive League of Ireland FIFA 16 cover which features Derry City FC's Ciaran O'Connor. Fans can download this special sleeve for free when the game launches this #FIFA16THURSDAY from https://www.easports.com/uk/fifa/club-packs/league-of-ireland. The two players, who will appear alongside the FIFA 16 global cover star Lionel Messi, were selected after topping a poll vote hosted on Extratime.ie. Brandywell, Derry. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
EA SPORTS" are celebrating the launch of FIFA 16 with the creation of an exclusive League of Ireland FIFA 16 cover which features Derry City FC's Ciaran O'Connor. Fans can download this special sleeve for free when the game launches this #FIFA16THURSDAY from https://www.easports.com/uk/fifa/club-packs/league-of-ireland. The two players, who will appear alongside the FIFA 16 global cover star Lionel Messi, were selected after topping a poll vote hosted on Extratime.ie. Brandywell, Derry. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

DERRY CITY’s on-loan striker, Ciaran O’Connor will stand shoulder to shoulder with Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi on the cover of the world’s biggest football video game.

The Dundalk teenager has seen off competition from every player in the League of Ireland to become the face of EA Sports FIFA 16 alongside the magical Argentine on a special downloadable cover.

For the first time since it was originally introduced in 1993, fans and gamers around the world voted for their favourite player to be on the cover of FIFA 16 and O’Connor is delighted to have come out on top in the League of Ireland and be sharing the front of the game with Messi.

“It’s mad,” he said. “For years I’ve been buying the game and now I’m on the front of it. It’s great and it’s nice to know you’re getting acknowledged.

“I’ll definitely get a bit of stick and I know Andy will too but it’s great.”

Ciaran was selected by public vote on ExtraTime.ie as the Derry City player to be put forward, and then went head to head with a player selected from every club in the league of Ireland to win the final vote as well.

Ciaran will now be on the cover alongside Messi and fellow Dundalk man Andy Boyle.

O’Connor and Boyle pipped 10 other finalists who included Kenny Browne (St Patrick’s Athletic), Peter Cherrie (Bray Wanderers), Michael Daly (Drogheda United), Ross Gaynor (Cork City FC), Jake Kelly (Bohemian FC), Shaun Kelly (Limerick FC), Brandon Miele (Shamrock Rovers), Mark Rossiter (Longford FC), John Russell (Sligo Rovers) and Gary Shanahan (Galway United) to win the honour.

The two players, will appear alongside the FIFA 16 global cover star Lionel Messi, and were selected after topping a poll of over 80,000 votes amongst League of Ireland fans,

The latest FIFA game will arrive in stores around the country tomorrow (Thursday) and the exclusive cover is also available to download for free via easports.com/fifa on all formats including Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Derry City striker, Ciaran O'Connor pictured with the poster for the new FIFA 16 game where he features alongside Lionel Messi.

Derry City striker, Ciaran O'Connor pictured with the poster for the new FIFA 16 game where he features alongside Lionel Messi.

Once you’ve printed out your preferred sleeve, you can simply replace the existing cover in your FIFA 16 pack and start playing with your very own League of Ireland cover star.

For the past eight years, FIFA has exclusively featured the League of Ireland, giving local fans the chance to play out their ultimate footy fantasies.

O’Connor has been a hit with Derry City fans since his arrival from Dundalk during the July Transfer Window, netting on his debut against Galway United on August 7th and scoring the winning goal against St Pat’s at Richmond Park on August 14th.

He will be spearheading the Candystripes’ attack against Cork City at Turner’s Cross on Friday night.

For years I’ve been buying the game and now I’m on the front of it. It’s great and it’s nice to know you’re getting acknowledged.

Ciaran O’Connor
Derry City striker, Ciaran O'Connor has been voted to be the face of EA Sports video game, FIFA 16 alongside Lionel Messi on a special downloadable cover.

Derry City striker, Ciaran O'Connor has been voted to be the face of EA Sports video game, FIFA 16 alongside Lionel Messi on a special downloadable cover.