Berlin (AFP) – RB Leipzig midfielder Diego Demme will be swapping his boots for a control pad when he joins the club’s four-man eSports team ahead of the start of the 2019/20 Virtual Bundesliga season next month.
On the pitch, the 27-year-old has played in Leipzig’s seven Bundesliga games so far this season under coach Julian Nagelsmann, whose side are two points behind leaders Borussia Moechengladbach.
He has also been named in Leipzig’s eFootball team playing FIFA 20, with the second season of the 22-team Virtual Bundesliga kicking-off on November 4.
“I’ve already played against Diego and it’s not only out on the real pitch that he knows what he’s doing,” Leipzig’s eSports pro Cihan Yasarlarhe told website Sportbuzzer.
Demme has played 199 matches for Leipzig since joining the club in 2014 when it was still in the third tier, and made a single appearance for Germany in June 2017 as a substitute in a 7-0 battering of San Marino in a 2018 World Cup qualifier.
Werder Bremen are the defending Virtual Bundesliga champions after winning last season’s inaugural title.
Demme will be out to prove he has the same skills on the console as when the ball is at his feet, but a team-mate insists his inclusion is not a gimmick to promote the eFootball version of the Bundesliga.