Football clubs in Europe such as Manchester City have been signing competitive FIFA players, and now American organizations are starting to take notice. FIFA player Giuseppe Guastella has signed with Versus Sports, a first-of-its-kind contract for the North American FIFA scene.
Guastella will compete in EA's FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Championship Series. At 31 years old, he's actually over the average age of most esports players, but he has been playing the FIFA series since he was 8 years old.
"I feel honored," Guastella told ESPN. "My goal is to be consistent at all the tournaments, and my biggest goal is to win the cup."
Guastella is a highly decorated FIFA player, as he was a grand finalist for the FIFA Interactive World Cup in 2009, 2015 and 2016. Most recently, he took home the North American championship at the 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game.
This is the second signing for Versus Sports, after picking up Madden player Frank "Stiff" Sardoni Jr. last week. The organization has said it's already looking into more sponsors for both players. Given that Sardoni Jr. lives in New York and Guastella in Los Angeles, relationships with local athletic clubs might not be out of the question for either of them.