Aussie Steph Catley is FIFA 16's first female cover star

Australian sporting star Steph Catley is officially the first female footballer to be honoured on the cover of FIFA 16. She will appear – alongside Lionel Messi – on the Australian cover of the game, when it launches in September.

An early version of Australia's FIFA 16 box art

An early version of Australia’s FIFA 16 box art

Catley is captain of Melbourne Victory’s premiership winning squad, and plays as defender for the Westfield Matildas – but it’s not known how welcome she’ll be in the locker room this week after defeating not one but two of her teammates to take out the prestigious cover spot. Both Katrina Gorry and Kyah Simon (who, coincidentally, scored the goal that took the Matildas through to the quarter-finals of this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup) were also being considered, but a massive poll of football fans saw 21-year old Catley named the winner.

She says:

Words can’t describe the excitement I’m feeling about being on the cover of FIFA 16, it’s a dream come true!. It’s been a huge year for the Westfield Matildas and getting this recognition from EA SPORTS and FIFA fans for all our hard work is a great step forward for women’s football on both a local and global scale. I’ve always been a huge FIFA fan and knowing that I will be playable in the game, as well as being on the cover alongside Lionel Messi, is a career highlight for me! I would like to thank Australia for voting and cannot wait to see it on the shelves!

Steph Catley as she appears in FIFA 16

Steph Catley as she appears in FIFA 16

There’s still one athlete spot left on the cover – the third cover star (and the final Australian FIFA 16 cover) will be revealed on Thursday August 13.

FIFA 16 will be available on September 24 in Australia and September 25 in New Zealand, on PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4 and PS3.

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