FIFA 22 TOTY Countdown LIVE: 98 OVR Lionel Messi set for release

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The Team of the Year event begins TODAY in FIFA 22 Ultimate Team with the first release of cards into packs.

Excitement has been building over the last two weeks ahead of the event and now the time has finally arrived as EA officially revealed the XI last night.

Keep track of all the latest Team of the Year news ahead of the release with our live countdown.

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Latest - Leakers, Leakers everywhere

Once again the new promo in FIFA 22 Ultimate Team has been plagued with leaks.

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Several of the confirmed players have had their full stats leaked online, including the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi.

The PSG duo is likely to be very popular as the French / Ligue 1 meta has taken hold of FUT this season.

Click here to see all the TOTY Leaks in one place.

Release Date

The Team of the Year event is set to get underway on Friday, 21 January.

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The TOTY Warmup Series got things started in FUT 22, but now it is time for the main event to arrive at 1pm ET / 6pm GMT.

EA has already whetted our appetite with various releases and reveals, but it is now time for the talking to stop and the action to begin!

Final XI

Leaks put a stop to any surprises in the official Team of the Year XI reveal, but the ratings have caused a bit of a stir!

Unsurprisingly the forwards are the top-rated players in the squad with Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski picking up huge new 98 OVR cards.

fifa 22 ultimate team team of the year
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FINAL CUT - This is the 2021 Team of the Year

However, it was in midfield where the biggest shock came as Jorginho's 97 OVR trumped the 96 ratings dished out to Kevin De Bruyne and N'Golo Kante.

Achraf Hakimi's inclusion has raised a few eyebrows, but both he and Joao Cancelo are the lowest-rated TOTY cards in FUT 22. An anti-full-back agenda!

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First Up

As in previous years, we are expecting EA to release each position separately, with the attackers looking set to go first.

This means Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski, and Lionel Messi will be the first three players available in packs on Friday, 21 January.

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NEXT UP - Three sensational cards are coming to packs soon

The midfielders will likely follow next, replacing the attackers in packs before being replaced by the defenders (and goalkeeper).

We will also see the 12th man vote running while these cards are slowly released before the release of all 12 cards on Friday, 28 January.

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Flashback

We have seen these before, and Mauro Icardi has also shown that EA intends to use the Flashback cards in the Team of the Year event.

Well, if you own a Premier League team and are looking for a new striker, you may be in luck!

Spurs and England forward Harry Kane has been heavily linked with a Flashback card at some point during the next week.

Some have even said it will be the first SBC of the TOTY event, so we could see it as early as Friday, 21 January!

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Moments

The Flashbacks are not the only cards set for a return as Player Moments are also likely to appear.

Ilkay Gundogan was released in the Warmup Series, and we would love to see Erik Lamela rewarded for his Puskas Award-winning rabona.

Spezia winger Daniele Verde has been leaked online ahead of a rumoured card, and it could be awesome by the looks of it.

With pace to burn and a box of tricks to dazzle defenders, Verde could be one of the best objectives cards we have seen in FUT 22.