Messi and two other football superstars have been drafted into Modern Warfare 2

Lionel Messi in Modern Warfare 2.
(Image credit: Infinity Ward)

Noted soldier of fortune Lionel Messi, who takes the occasional break from the battlefield to play football, is coming to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. This is as part of the Modern Warfare FC event and rejoice because, yes, it is also going to add something called CODBall to the game.

Messi is one of three footballers that are to be added to the game this month via limited-time bundles: Neymar Jr. debuts on November 21, Paul Pogba arrives November 25, and Lionel Messi on November 29.

Presumably Neymar Jr. falls to the ground after taking 1hp of damage.

CODBall may see Activision Blizzard get in a bit of a naming war with the Cape Cod baseball league, but the publisher is yet to detail exactly what this temporary mode will involve. I'd put money on it involving a big ball that players can shoot at to move. Alongside this will be a Support Your Team Pick'em minigame. You'd think this was something to do with the imminent world cup, but Activision Blizzard studiously avoids mentioning that. 

Such is the potpourri of contemporary Call of Duty. Modern Warfare 2 is, at least, the best entry in many years: as our review says this "isn't the latest Call of Duty game—it's the latest Infinity Ward game. And nobody does Call of Duty better than Infinity Ward."

Modern Warfare 2 has now become the fastest-selling title in the history of the series. Call of Duty is a phenomenon on an almost unimaginable scale. It is daft that it's adding footballers, for sure, but the game's reach makes such things inevitable, and it's not like this is as silly as it gets: last year Warzone added infamous mercenary Snoop Dogg

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."