Liverpool front man Diogo Jota spent the morning playing in a FIFA 22 international qualifier event before rushing off to make the 3pm kick-off of his club’s Premier League match against Southampton at Anfield.
It’s a good job Jota made it, too – he scored after just 97 seconds – and celebrated by sitting down and pretending to play FIFA.
There?s no way Jota just did that celebration
— _^ (@lfc_allting) November 27, 2021
Jota continued his impressive form in front of goal by adding a second goal later in the first half. Liverpool went on to win 4-0.
Wonderfully, Jota’s scheduled next opponent in the FIFA 22 tournament, 18-year-old French player Yanis “Lyamooo” Aguili, took to Twitter to reveal the chat between the two players that took place just before the Liverpool star took off.
— URA | Lyamooo_ (@Lyamooo_) November 27, 2021
“Good luck!” Jota messages at 2.23pm CET (an hour ahead of UK time).
Then, a minute later: “I can’t play so I will miss check-in.”
Aguili, clearly fine with proceedings, replies: “Oh okay good luck for the match.”
Then: “In real life.”
“Thanks,” Jota replies.
I can’t imagine what Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp would have said had Jota turned up late because he was playing FIFA!
Jota and Aguili were set to compete in an online qualification match for the FIFA 22 Global Series.
Jota’s appearance in the tournament is no publicity stunt. As Eurogamer has reported, the Portuguese isn’t just a world class footballer, he’s a world class FIFA player.
In February, Jota was ranked number one in the world on the FIFA Ultimate Team Champions leaderboard after going 30-0 yet again during the weekend league (winning 30 matches without loss in FUT’s most hardcore competitive mode is the kind of record the pro FIFA players shoot for).
This wasn’t a one-off, either. Jota had gone 30-0 in FUT Champions before. In May 2020, Jota beat now-Liverpool teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold in the final of the FIFA 20 ePremier League Invitational. Watch that match in the video below:
“Since my dad gave me my first PlayStation as a kid, it’s been like another passion of mine. I always played football on it,” Jota told The Athletic in December 2020.
Jota has his own esports team. “You’re forgiven for dropping the qualifier,” they tweeted in response to the first goal.
Estás perdoado por abandonares o qualificador. https://t.co/dNXAbP8j1Z
— DiogoJota Esports (@diogojotaegames) November 27, 2021
And here’s Jota’s tweet on today’s events:
What a week at Anfield ??? pic.twitter.com/GMtBWVi3xd
— Diogo Jota (@DiogoJota18) November 27, 2021