In FIFA 23, Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso, will be available as the manager of AFC Richmond in Career mode.
It was announced on Wednesday that the fictional club from the hit Apple TV+ show “Ted Lasso” will be a playable team in the EA Sports video game FIFA 23. The Greyhounds will appear, by default, in the Rest of the World category and can be used in career mode, kickoff and to play online. The character Ted Lasso, played by Jason Sudeikis, will be available in career mode.
“I am truly fortunate and deeply grateful to have had many special moments in my career thus far, and I consider this experience among the best,” Sudeikis said in a statement. “As long-time EA Sports FIFA fans, having Ted Lasso and the entire AFC Richmond team brought into the newest version of the game is truly a dream come true for me and the rest of the guys.”RELATED
Perhaps no one on the show is as excited about the development as Phil Dunster, who plays star striker Jamie Tartt. Dunster has a vivid memory of the first time he played the game—the FIFA 99 soundtrack stayed with him for more than two decades—and says it has been a big part of his life ever since.
“[Jugar FIFA es] genuinely the closest thing I’ve ever had to addiction,” Dunster told ESPN with a laugh. “Normally, I would play career mode with AFC Wimbledon because that’s my team. Then you get to the top and it’s great to see [Leo] Messi playing at Plow Lane.”
In FIFA 23, Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso, will be available as the manager of AFC Richmond in Career mode. EA Sports
With the addition of AFC Richmond, Dunster said he will likely have to change his team and seek glory on the pitch at Nelson Road, as the Greyhounds’ stadium will also be a part of the game. The characters Roy Kent, Sam Obisanya and Dani Rojas will also be available.
For Dunster, the fact that a character he plays as an actor will be in the game represents another surreal moment stemming from his association with comedy. When it was originally cast, the show was not expected to become an internationally acclaimed series. In fact, his initial enthusiasm stemmed from the fact that he would technically get paid to play the sport he grew up obsessed with.
“The weekend I found out I got the job, the thing that excited me the most was the fact that we had soccer rehearsals, which for me, as an avid lifelong soccer fan, was the best thing,” he said. “The expectations were very different from what the show turned out to be. It was mainly about the fact that I could pretend to be a professional footballer. I could tell everyone that I was getting paid to play football now.”
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The downside to the show’s success, he said, is that now, when he shows up to five-on-five matches in London slums, the expectations of those he plays with are different.
“People say, ‘Aren’t you that ‘Ted Lasso?’ Aren’t you supposed to be like a Premier League footballer?'” Dunster said. “And I would be trash by comparison and that was very embarrassing for me. It’s happened a couple of times.”
His character, Jamie Tartt, is far from trash. On the show, he was good enough to play for Manchester City and be a key member of Lasso’s team.
Dunster had not yet been told what Tartt’s player rating will be in the game, but he was willing to speculate.
“I think Jamie is 25 years old. He hasn’t been capped for England yet, so he’s not at that level, but he’s also a great striker. Listen, Harry Kane has been playing for England. It’s hard being an English striker because Harry Kane he’s always in shape,” Dunster said. “That’s probably why [Tartt] he hasn’t been at the top of his game, he hasn’t been given the chances. But he was at City, a really promising player. So with all of those things in mind, I reckon he’ll have an 84 rating.”
It turns out that Dunster’s logic matched that of the game’s creators. An EA Sports FIFA spokesperson confirmed that Tartt received an overall rating of 84, putting him one point behind Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy and Chelsea’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
FIFA 23 will be released on September 30.