With the release of FIFA 20 fast upon us, the debate for who will be the top-rated player in this year’s edition of the hit football game is in full flow.
Since FIFA 09, only two players have held the top spot, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Whilst the Argentine reigned supreme for seven editions between FIFA 10 and FIFA 16, Cristiano Ronaldo has been the top dog for the last three.
However, whilst there is a debate to be had as to whether either of them will be the number one pick when the game is released next month, in the individual battle between the two greats, there is only one winner.
Konami, the company behind FIFA’s main competitors Pro Evolution Soccer, have secured exclusive rights to Ronaldo’s employers Juventus, and have penned deals with a range of other high profile European clubs, including Messi’s Barcelona.
So with both playing for clubs signed to Konami, there will be no motives behind either players ratings. Neither are involved in any contracts with FIFA nor will either feature on the cover of this year’s edition.
Therefore, for the first time in recent years, the ratings should come from performances alone, with Messi far outdoing Ronaldo over the course of the last 12 months.
The stats tell the story
Whilst Lionel Messi is reaching the twilight of his footballing career, the 32-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down.
The Argentine scored an astonishing 51 goals and registered 22 assists in 50 appearances across all competitions for FC Barcelona last season, finishing as the top scorer in both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.
Once again he was the main man for a Barcelona side who romped to a second consecutive La Liga title, and whilst the Champions League semi-final collapse against Liverpool was a huge disappointment for the Catalonians, the number 10 still had a remarkable season for the club.
|Statistic||Lionel Messi||Cristiano Ronaldo|
In comparison, Cristiano Ronaldo’s season was somewhat underwhelming.
Following a summer move to Juventus, hopes were high that the Portuguese star would be the difference maker for the Old Lady as they looked to claim their first European title since the 95/96 season.
However, that wasn’t to be as they suffered a shock quarter final exit to Dutch side Ajax, and whilst Juve may have claimed their eighth consecutive Serie A title, Cristiano’s season, by his high standard, was largely disappointing.
He managed just 28 goals and 10 assists in 43 games for the Bianconeri, his worst goal return since the 2009/10 season – with Lionel Messi’s overtaking Ronaldo as the top-rated FIFA player ahead of the 2010/11 season.
Will either be the game’s highest rated player?
Now this is tricky.
As earlier mentioned, since FIFA 09, no player’s rating has eclipsed that of Messi or Ronaldo, arguably the greatest two players to ever grace a football pitch.
But with both now tied down to Konami and PES, could there be a new player taking up that number one spot? Here’s three potential candidates.
Liverpool’s centre half Virgil van Dijk is the current favourite to win this years Ballon D’Or, however whilst his rating will receive a huge boost, it seems unlikely EA would make a defender the games highest rated player.
New Real Madrid Galactico Eden Hazard – set to feature on the cover of this year’s game – had a fantastic season for previous club Chelsea last season, but will it be enough to become the game’s best?
PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe had another excellent season for the French champions.
Fresh of the back of winning the World Cup with France, the 20-year-old managed 39 goals and 17 assists in 43 games for PSG last season, noticeably higher than Cristiano Ronaldo. It is likely he will one day be the best in the game, will this year be the year?
READ MORE: PSG FIFA 20 ratings predictions
Whilst the Konami deal will do neither player any favours, given performances on the pitch and the calibre of players both Messi and Ronaldo are, it would be safe to assume that they will sit at the top end of the ratings for another year.
On form however, EA should reward Messi for yet another strong season and keep him at a 94 overall and Ronaldo’s sticky season in Serie A is likely to drop him to 93.
READ MORE: Everything you need to know about FIFA 20
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