Every year, EA Sports’ FIFA video game alters the ratings of the world’s top professional soccer players in the world just a little bit to match them with their actual, real-life performance. With online gaming, updates makes those changes occur much more often than just once a year.
Still, that doesn’t mean predicting the highest rated FIFA 19 players isn’t fun.
In a World Cup year, a tournament with such history and significance, players’ ratings can have the most significant shifts. This means that while predicting the outcomes won’t be perfect, it’ll certainly be entertaining to say the least.
Last year, FIFA 18 ranked Gonzalo Higuain, Toni Kroos, Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos, Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, Luis Suarez, Neymar, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the top-10 players in the world – all of whom are ranked above a 90 overall. While I’m only going to be ranking the top five in this year’s game, there’s definitely going to be some dropped overall points from these players.
More specifically, Higuain and Ramos should drop down to 89s, Lewandowski could go down to a 90, while Neymar and Neuer might both also suffer dropped points due to lengthy injury spells.
Jumping into the 90-overall club and possibly taking their spots could be N’Golo Kante of Chelsea and the World Cup-winning French as well his fellow countryman Kylian Mbappe. Both should be rated 90 overalls for not only what they accomplished at the sport’s biggest stage in Russia, but for their consistency all season long as well.
Luka Modric got the golden ball for his stellar performances at the World Cup and I wouldn’t be surprised if he got more than a 90 overall rating. I wouldn’t be mad if he got a 91, but let’s keep him at a 90 and outside the top-five for now.
Now, onto my top-five.
Mo Salah: 91
The Egyptian king marauding down Liverpool’s right wing needs to get more than just the Premier League recognition for what he accomplished last season. Despite an injury from that dirty Ramos tackle in the Champions League Final, Salah should have a 91 rating based off his pace, close control and impressive finishing ability with a knack for the back of the net.
His breakout season sees him take a possible nine-point jump from an 83 last year. Salah surprised me with just how great he fit in Klopp’s system at Anfield, audaciously breaking the single-season record for goals in the Premier League.
Antoine Griezmann: 91
Griezmann has been knocking on the Balon d’Or door (Ha!) for a few seasons now. A staple at Atletico Madrid and a key cog in France’s World Cup triumph, Griezmann’s finishing ability has handed out plenty of L’s in the past year. He’s the kind of player you want on your side.
Still, his LeBron-esque special on his decision to stay at Atletico was a bit much.
The Brazilian No. 10 had quite an eventful first full season as the man at PSG. It seemed like it was this time last year he was helping pay his own release clause to execute the move away from not only Barcelona, but Messi’s shadow. Just like how Kyrie Irving left LeBron James last offseason, both star figures were injured in the winter and were unable to finish their seasons.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see him drop an overall point due to his floppy performances in Russia either.
Lionel Messi: 93
The GOAT had himself quite the domestic season in La Liga, but once again was unable to translate that to international play. He carried FCB to another Spanish title in a runaway race without Neymar, and dominated both El Clasicos. The Catalan club fell well short in the Champions League, yielding Messi’s plateau to stay at a 93 overall rating.
For some reason, I’m actually bad when playing with Messi in the game…probably because he apparently can’t sprint very fast anymore and I can’t do skill moves.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 93
For the last couple FIFA renditions, Ronaldo has taken the top spot in the overall ratings and perhaps deservedly so. This year, however, warrants a one-point decline at the very least. His pace has gone down significantly, as has his stamina at times – often getting rotated through Zidane’s squad last year.
Ronaldo is at the final stages of his career now, and his move to Juventus clearly reflects that.