FIFA 19's Alex Hunter 'joins' Common Goal, sealing place among top fictional footballers
Mats Hummels, Shinji Kagawa and Giorgio Chiellini are but three of the football heavyweights to lend their support to Common Goal -- the initiative co-founded by Juan Mata through which professional footballers donate one percent of their salary to sporting causes around the world.
However, the latest star name to join the movement is a little different in that he doesn't actually exist.
Alex Hunter is the star of story mode "The Journey" included in FIFA 19, and is therefore entirely fictional, but that hasn't stopped him from pledging a portion of his income (presumably crypto-currency?) to Common Goal.
Such a magnanimous gesture seals Hunter's position among the greats when it comes to the grand pantheon of fictional footballers.
Top of the tree surely has to by Roy Race: titular star of Roy of the Rovers, Melchester Rovers legend, fearsome left foot, fine head of hair, and all-round good egg.
Check this cracker of a cover out from May 1989! All the Racey, all the time! pic.twitter.com/3DjBnks38l— Roy of the Rovers (@royoftherovers) 27 May 2018
"Hotshot" Hamish Balfour was Scottish football's answer to Roy Race, a brawny, 6ft 10in Hebridean striker with the most powerful shot in the world.
Hamish enjoyed the best years of his career at Glengow Rangers where he played alongside his diminutive teammate, Kevin "Mighty" Mouse.
Captain Tsubasa influenced an entire generation of young football fanatics, with several professional stars citing the Japanese cartoon (broadcast as "Oliver and Benji" in Europe) as a source of childhood inspiration.
The likes of Lionel Messi, Fernando Torres, Andres Iniesta and Alessandro Del Piero have all spoken of their love for the show in the past.
Star of a long-running cartoon strip in the British comic Viz, Billy the Fish overcame true adversity (not having any legs) to become one of the finest goalkeepers of a generation.
We love Roy of the Rovers and all, but could he do it on a wet Tuesday night at Stoke? Billy the Fish certainly could... 🐟⚽@vizcomic's football fish, part of @SteveMcGarry's Playing for a Draw exhibition. On display until Sunday 2 September.https://t.co/9HHHm2qbCY pic.twitter.com/g3DamUGm9h— Nat. Football Museum (@FootballMuseum) 24 August 2018
The Hurricanes were undoubtedly one of the most well-balanced fictional football teams in their heyday, with skill and grunt aplenty.
However, it was the principled, level-headed leadership of captain Cal Casey that really propelled them to greatness each week.
While probably not immediately familiar, Masal Bugduv is without doubt one of the most intriguing names on this list of imaginary players.
The "16-year-old Moldovan prodigy" was included in an article in The Times detailing "Football's Top 50 Rising Stars" back in 2009, as well as several similar pieces published by other outlets.
Should have been me!!!!! https://t.co/1wS0DIqXrI— Masal Bugduv (@bugduvofficial) December 8, 2017
However it soon came to light that Bugduv was merely an elaborate hoax created by Irish journalist Declan Varley, who used forged news stories and bogus Wikipedia entries to fool the football press into singling out his entirely made-up teenage wunderkind as one to watch.