Whether you prefer FIFA or PES, chances are you probably don't think of Nintendo when you picture the World Cup. That may be about to change, as in a not-totally-unexpected move Japan has chosen Pikachu (and a host of other Pocket Monster critters) to officially represent the nation as the country's mascots in the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.

While it's not unusal for Pokémon to be the public face of anything in Japan, this partnership between The Pokémon Company and Addidas – part of the latter company's "Engine Project" initiative designed to bring players together under the thematic umbrella of a vehicular motor to drive teammates forward – is pretty cool for FIFA fans.

Aside from fitting with the overarching themes the Pokémon anime has touted since it first aired back in 1997, this more immediately yields a Japaanese World Cup ad campaign with Pikachu and his Pokémon pals in cute little team jerseys. (Isn't Bulbasaur just precious?)

 The 2014 World Cup takes place June 12-July 13.

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[via Polygon]