Lionel Messi, commonly considered to be the world’s best soccer player, has signed a multi-year agreement with Electronic Arts Inc. that makes him the global ambassador of the EA Sports FIFA Soccer franchise. His first packaging appearance in this role will be in March 2012 on the cover of FIFA Street.

Among other activities, Messi will be featured in marketing and advertising campaigns as well as participating in social media initiatives for all things related to FIFA Soccer. EA Sports will also team up with the Leo Messi Foundation to support social, educational and health care related initiatives for children around the world. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kicking off the social media part of the deal, on Nov. 25 at midnight GMT, Messi chose the winner of a competition in which gamers submitted videos of the best goals they had him score in EA’s FIFA Soccer 12. The winner and top nine finalists were rewarded with bragging rights when EA assembled the clips into a video (see below) and posted it publicly.

“Our FIFA franchise is the number one selling sports videogame franchise in the world, and Lionel Messi is the number one player in the world, so this agreement is a true partnership of superstars,” said Matt Bilbey, vice president and general manager of Soccer, EA Sports. “With Messi on our team we have the world’s best and most exciting player to help EA Sports maintain its global leadership in the years ahead.”

Messi was recognized with the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2010 award, was UEFA Champions League top goal scorer the past three years, is the three-time La Liga Player of the Year, and has made the shortlist for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d’Or. Messi has scored over 200 goals in all competitions and currently, at the age of 24, is second in the rankings of Barcelona’s all-time leading goal scorers. He has scored 27 goals and 14 assists in 29 games this season in all competitions.

EA’s FIFA Soccer 12 sold 3.2 million copies in its first five days, making it the most successful sports video game launch ever. The EA Sports FIFA Soccer series is now in its 19th year.

Related links:

EA’s Lionel Messi page –

FIFA’s Messi page –

ESPN’s SoccerNet Messi page –