FIFA 17's cover athlete will be decided by fan vote

Oddly, only dude options this time around.

Fans will have the option to cast their vote for one of four athletes to emblazen the cover of FIFA 17, the latest installment in EA's annualized football (technically, soccer) series, due out this September.

The four players up for consideration are James Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), and Eden Hazard (Chelsea). All four have profiles up on EA's official FIFA website, in case you're like me and approach studying real-life sportsball athletes with the same methodology as League of Legends champions. On aesthetics alone, I'd have to go with Reus or Martial as the most photogenic -- just saying.

EA's decision to put its FIFA covers to a popular vote isn't a wholly new tactic. FIFA 16 made a few waves last year by including two footballers on its cover, FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi and one of three women players, decided through regional polls: Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair, or Stephanie Catley. Considering the growing international fandom for women's soccer in the last few years, we might assume publisher EA would repeat itself for FIFA 17, but so far that doesn't seem to be the case -- while we have a fan vote for the cover star of FIFA 17, all the candidates featured here are men, and there's been no mention of a similar vote for women players.

It's also a little curious that FIFA 17 isn't choosing this opportunity to feature Alex Hunter, the fictitious player from the game's story mode, on its cover. Sure, real athletes are a long-held marketing strategy for sports games, but EA made a really big deal out of its story mode at E3, so it's not too hard to imagine the publisher going the extra mile to advertise him on the box art. But maybe that's just my wishful thinking.

So who of these four sweaty guys do you want on the cover of FIFA 17? You can cast your vote online here, and also tell us in the comments below. Alternatively, let us know who among the women's division you'd like to see featured!