One of the world’s most popular mobile games, Clash of Clans, has unveiled a surprise new character – the Manchester City football star Erling Haaland.

An animated version of Haaland will become the Barbarian King in the game, developer Supercell said.

From Wednesday, players will be able to recruit the Norwegian striker to join them, or try to ruin his village.

Haaland, a long-time fan of Clash of Clans, said becoming a playable character was “really cool”.

The fantasy video game sees players battle to build their own village and launch raids on others to seek more power.

It has been downloaded more than two billion times since it was first released more than a decade ago.

Haaland’s character is the first in the game to be based on a real person.

‘I’m excited. When we heard Haaland was a fan of our game and that he wanted to partner with us, it was really a dream scenario,” Stuart McGaw, general manager of Clash of Clans said.

“Our team did everything we could to bring him, one of the world’s best athletes, into the world of the game so our players could enjoy a truly special moment.”

Haaland, 23, posted a trailer for the game on his social media.

“From the pitch to the battlefield! I’m the new Barbarian King in Clash of Clans,” he wrote.

In a statement, he added: “It’s been tough to keep this one quiet, but I’m excited to finally be able to talk about this epic partnership with Clash of Clans.

“I’ve been a huge fan of the game for a long time and know everything about it, so to appear as an in-game character is really cool.”

It’s not the first time Haaland has been the face of a video game. He was also the cover star of EA FC 24, formerly known as Fifa.

Other recent tie-ins between video games and celebrities include Fortnite with Lady Gaga and Billie Eilish, and Call of Duty with Nicki Minaj.

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