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Marco van Basten returns to FIFA 21 Ultimate Team following Nazi controversy - but Jens Lehmann is dropped

Marco van Basten
(Image credit: PA)

After dropping Marco van Basten from FIFA 20 following controversy on Dutch TV, EA have decided to bring the former striker back for the 2021 edition of the game.

Van Basten saw himself in hot water last year after apparently using the Nazi term “Sieg Heil” on air on a Fox Sports TV broadcast following Ajax’s 4-1 win over Heracles in the Eredivisie. 

FIFA users were greeted with a notice upon opening the Ultimate Team section of the game, reading, “We are aware of the recent comments made by Marco van Basten. We have an expectation that our commitment to quality and diversity is upheld across our game. As such, we will suspend Marco van Basten icon items from being available in Packs, SBCs and FUT Draft until further notice.”

It now appears though that the volley-walloper is back off the naughty step for FIFA 21, included in the FUT 100 - FIFA's century set of players for Ultimate Team. 

One player who hasn't been so lucky when it comes to FIFA 21, however, is Jens Lehmann, who finds himself uninvited from the party this season.

The nutty custodian was included in the full list of icons for Ultimate Team in the latest version of the game but seems to have mysteriously vanished from the line-up since. EA hasn't released a statement as to why he's been unincluded, either.

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Some have speculated online that it could be due to comments he made about coronavirus, in which he appeared to suggest that Bundesliga players should continue to play regardless of COVID-19 symptoms. Lehmann, who was set for FIFA 21 for his Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal peaks, claimed to have contracted the illness, saying he'd had worse bouts of flu before.

“As long as the symptoms are not that bad, I think players have to cope with it," the German said.

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Over the years, EA has removed a number of players from Ultimate Team, either because the cards just weren't exciting enough or the licensing cost too much. Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville have found their underwhelming cards dropped from the game, while German sweeper Franz Beckenbauer's card was discontinued, which may have been due to controversies over being banned by the actual FIFA body.

1990s heroes George Weah and Romario - who both packed incredible stats - were also dropped from FIFA after joining the world of politics and running for office.

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