A new FIFA means we have new Icons coming to Ultimate Team, with destructive midfielder Michael Essien the latest in nine new legends coming to the new EA Sports game.
These cards represent different stages from their career, often from the beginning, prime and end of their life as a footballer. For example, Pele has 91, 95 and 98 Icon cards on the game.
RealSport looks at all the Icons that arrive in FIFA 20 this season… and predict their potential ratings.
Michael Essien (OVR 86 – 88 – 89)
Michael Essien is an absolute Chelsea legend, and Blues fan will be thrilled he is on the new game, where he will able to link up with former teammates Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.
During his time with the Blues, Essien won two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, a League Cup and of course the famous Champions League win in 2012. His move to the Premier League came of the back of two Ligue 1 titles in a row with Lyon, and claiming the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award in 2005.
“The Bison” would later go on to play for Real Madrid, AC Milan, Panathinaikos, Indonesian side Persib Bandung and, now, Azerbaijan outfit Sabail. This makes him the only FUT 20 ICON still active in real life.
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For his first card, we think an 86 OVR is quite likely, reflecting his back-to-back league titles at Lyon in 2004 & 2005, culminating in his Ligue 1 Player of the Year award. His second item, an 88 OVR could be on the cards, for the 2009-10 double winning season with Chelsea under Carlo Ancelotti, with his prime card receiving an 89 OVR for the Champions League triumph in 2012.
Hugo Sanchez (OVR 85 – 89 – 90)
The greatest Mexican player of all time, Hugo Sanchez lead the line in one of the most dominating Real Madrid sides we’ve ever seen. The forward won five La Liga titles in a row with Los Blancos between 1986 and 1990, forming a deadly strike partnership with fellow FIFA Icon Emilio Butragueno.
With his five league titles came five Spanish Golden Boots, before injuries set in. He also picked up two Copa del Rey cup titles, one with Atletico Madrid and one With Real, as well as a UEFA Cup. Outside of Europe, the striker rose to fame by winning the Gold Cup with Mexico in 1977, before claiming the CONCACAF Champions Cup with Club America in 1992.
His first FUT 20 card is likely to be rated 85 for his early international success with the national team, with an 89 reflective of his top scoring season in 1986-87 where he bagged43 goals in the campaign. His prime card could come from the 1989-90 season, where his final La Liga title was coupled with the European Golden Shoe.
John Barnes (OVR 87 – 89 – 86)
Iconic as a rapper as much as a footballer, John Barnes goes down in both Liverpool and England folklore. The left winger was twice named the Football Writers’ Player of the Year, and picked up the full PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 1988.
With the Reds, he won the league title twice, in 1988 and 1990, but despite being in one of the greatest sides in English football history, they didn’t succeed on a European level, despite two FA Cups and a League Cup.
READ MORE: Liverpool FIFA 20 ratings predictions
On FIFA 20, expect an 89 prime rating to reflect his 28 goal season and league title in 1990, the same year England reached the semi-finals at the Euros. An 87 rating should be achieved for his first Anfield season where he scored 17 goals. and an 86 for his FA Cup winning season in 1992.
Ian Rush (OVR 86 – 89 – 85)
One of Liverpool’s greatest number 9s, Ian Rush bagged almost 350 goals for the club. During his time on Merseyside, the Welshman picked up five First Division titles, two European Cups, three FA Cups and five League Cups – not bad for a £300,000 signing from Chester City.
The standout campaign was 1984, where the forward won both the league title and European crown, claiming the Golden Boot in both England and Europe as well as pikcing up the PFA Player of the Year award.
That season should be rewarded with an 89 prime rating on Ultimate Team, with an 86 for the European Cup in 1981 and an 85 for his final league title in 1990.
Zinedine Zidane (OVR 96 – 95 – 92)
The biggest new addition to FIFA 20 Ultimate Team, and quite fittingly, Zinedine Zidane is the cover star for the Ultimate Edition of the new game.
The French midfielder is perhaps the only other man who can come close to the top level legends of Pele and Diego Maradona, with the current Real Madrid manager wining the Ballon d’Or, World Cup, European Championships and Champions League during his playing career.
READ MORE: Real Madrid FIFA 20 ratings predictions
His FUT 20 ratings should be crazy high, with a 96 prime for his Ballon d’Or, Serie A and World Cup winning year in 1998, but it will be closely followed by a 95 rating from 2002 when he won the Champions League with Los Merengues scoring THAT goal in the final against Bayer Leverkusen. Lastly, a 92 rating is deserved for his sole La Liga title in 2003.
Carlos Alberto (OVR 90 – 93 – 87)
Perhaps the greatest full back we have ever seen, Carlos Alberto has been a long time omission from the FIFA franchise. “Capita” skippered the Brazil national team to World Cup victory in 1970, scoring one of the best goals of all time in the final as his side smashed Italy 4-1 in Mexico.
Outside of the international scene, Alberto played the vast majority of his career in his homeland of Brazil, before moving for the shining lights of the United States.
READ MORE: Everything new in FIFA 20 Ultimate Team
He played 445 times for Santos, winning four league titles, an inter-state title and a South American Recopa. At the end of his career he did enjoy success in the US, winning the Soccer Bowl four times with the iconic New York Cosmos.
His cards in Ultimate Team should be along the lines of a 90 overall for Santos’ treble winning season in 1968, a 93 prime rating for that incredible World Cup in 1970 and an 87 for his back-to-back championship wins with the Cosmos in 1977 & 78.
Didier Drogba (OVR 87 – 89 – 91)
One of the most iconic Premier League players we have ever seen, Didier Drogba is simply a Chelsea legend. The Ivorian forward will be most famously remembered for scoring the decisive penalty to secure the Champions League for the Blues against Bayern Munich in 2012.
Drogba also lifted four Premier League titles over two spells at Chelsea, and is the club’s second highest PL goal scorer after fellow FUT Icon and now club manager Frank Lampard.
READ MORE: Chelsea FIFA 20 ratings predictions
He is the Ivory Coast’s highest ever goal scorer with 65 goals, although their ‘golden generation’, featuring other greats such as the Toure brothers and fellow Chelsea man Salomon Kalou, never struck gold.
On FIFA 20, expect Drogba’s first card to be around the 87 mark due to the back-to-back Premier League titles under Jose Mourinho in 2005 & 2006. An 89 rating represents his best Premier League season, where he secured one of his two golden boots with 29 league goals in the double winning season of 2010. His prime came later than most, and a 91 rating could be seen due to his magnificent 2012 Champions League final performance
Andrea Pirlo (OVR 88 – 92 – 86)
Perhaps the classiest Italian we have ever seen, Andrea Pirlo won it all in his career. The central midfielder got his big break at AC Milan, despite joining from arch-rivals Inter, winning two Serie A titles and two Champions Leagues with the club.
His career highlight came in 2006, winning the World Cup with Italy alongside fellow FIFA Icons Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Del Piero, Alessandro Nesta and Filippo Inzaghi.
In 2011, he made another controversial switch, joining the heavyweights of Juventus on a free transfer. In one of the greatest deals in the league’s history, Pirlo claimed four titles in his four seasons in Turin, finishing with 58 goals and 65 Serie A assists, before enjoying a swansong in the MLS with New York City.
A prime rating of 92 would reflect Pirlo’s 2006 World Cup win with Italy, with an 88 for his two Champions League at AC Milan and an 86 for his league title with the Old Lady.
Ronald Koeman (OVR 91 – 89 – 87)
Now managing the Dutch national team, Ronald Koeman is one of the greatest players in the nation’s history. Although the Oranje have never won the World Cup, Koeman was part of the side that claimed their only ever major silverware, the European Championships in 1988.
On the club scene, the versatile Koeman made the move from Ajax to Dutch rivals PSV in 1986, but it was worth it, claiming three further Eredivisie titles in Eindhoven and the small matter of a European Cup.
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A move to Barcelona followed, claiming four league titles in a row as well as another European Cup in 1992, playing alongside greats such as FUT Icons Hristo Stoichkov and Michael Laudrup as well as Man City boss Pep Guardiola.
Given the success early on his career, Koeman’s ratings on Ultimate Team will show a decline, with his European double 1988 season reflected with a 91 overall. His 1992 European Cup win could be shown by an 89 rating, and he should also receive an 87 for his La Liga win in 1994, where he was also the top scorer in the Champions League… not bad for a defender.
Ian Wright (OVR 87 – 90 – 88)
It’s great to see Arsenal legend Ian Wright finally make an appearance in the FIFA franchise, with the striker often seen working or representing the EA franchise.
The phrase “there’s only one Ian Wright” came from the England man coming onto the scene so late, signing a professional contract with Crystal Palace just before he turned 22, then waiting four seasons to make to the top-flight, before moving to Arsenal aged 26.
READ MORE: Arsenal FIFA 20 ratings predictions
In his first six seasons at Highbury, Wright scored no less than 23 goals each year, eventually finishing his Gunners career with then a club record 185 goals. Under Arsene Wenger he would claim the double in 1998, to go with a cup double in 1993 and a European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1994.
For FIFA 20, Wright should receive an early career rating on 87, representing his 25-goal season for Crystal Palace that earned him a move to Arsenal. A year later he won the Golden Boot with 24 league goals, and that could give him a prime rating of 90. Despite being fringe player in 1997-98, the double winning season must be recognised, where he could be given an 88 overall.
Who else can we expect?
With these 10 players taking the the Icons list to an impressive 82, you would forgive EA for holding fire. Five more legends are on the way, so we will see close to 90 in Ultimate Team on FIFA 20.
Hopefully, we’ll all have some more luck in packing them.
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