It's not just footballers who are enduring much shorter breaks between the seasons now, as sources at EA have just let slip that FIFA 06, the newest edition of its annual footy franchise, will kick off a little earlier than anticipated this year.
The official reason according to our source is: "This year FIFA is arriving even earlier to tie in closer to the start of the football season in the UK." FIFA 06 is now slated for a 30 September release on PS2, Xbox, PC, Cube, GBA and NDS. EA will be following this up with a PSP version which is now also confirmed for 21 October.
Of course this is just to get the game in fans' hands a little early and will have absolutely nothing to do with getting the jump on its main rival, Konami's mighty Pro Evolution Soccer 5, whose Xbox and PS2 versions will be trotting onto the park in October, with the PSP version currently slated for November.
We've included some FIFA 06 Xbox 360 screens for you to feast your eyes on, but with two mighty soccer dynasties set to clash, as the old cliche runs, the only winners will be the fans!
You can start winding up opposing fans of the rival soccer series in the forums below.