"We'll always have FIFA Soccer 13."
When your favorite team wins the Premier League, the spoils are everywhere.
They lift the silver trophy. They have a parade. They are referred to as "Champions of England" for at least a year. Heady stuff.
For fans who are gamers, the biggest benefit might well be lionization of the team in pixels by the video game makers.
As time has passed, though, FIFA Soccer 13 gets less and less realistic where Manchester City is concerned.
The default side is Joe Hart, Gael Clichy, Joleon Lescott, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Samir Nasri, Jack Rodwell, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero.
Reading the names without context, that is a fearsome side. But context is everything, and of course video games never strictly replicate the real thing.
In the game:
Hart never mishandles routine shots into backbreaking goals against relegation-threatened sides. (H/T ESPN.com.)
Clichy never badly misplays a ball in his own end that leads to the Robin van Persie free kick that loses the derby at the Etihad. (H/T ESPN.com.)
Lescott plays more in the video game when it is turned off than he does for City now.
Kompany does not spend the better part of the season coping with a nagging calf injury, per The Sun.
Rodwell was not on the team last season and thus his inclusion in the XI is the only inconsistency. If you want to, the video game version would let you switch Gareth Barry in. Given all of Rodwell's injury problems, per The Sun, you might want to do that anyway.
Toure never leaves for African Cup of Nations duty, and he never complains about his contract, per The Telegraph.
Silva does not more or less disappear for weeks at a time.
Tevez finishes clinically against top competition, not just in FA Cup matches against Barnsley. (H/T ESPN.com.)
And Aguero does not spend the season alternately recovering from leg injuries and courting a transfer (H/T NESN.com).
The game gets one thing dead right, though—Edin Dzeko starts on the bench.
Incidentally, Zabaleta is omitted from this analysis because he has actually been much better this season than he was last season.
But he's the only Citizen who can say that.
Which is why FIFA Soccer 14 is probably going to feature Robin van Persie in his Manchester United kit on its cover.