Let’s face it. Not everyone is blessed with the motor skills and the drive to excel at football. Chances are, the best shot that most of us have to be the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo is to just stay put in our rooms and let our thumbs do the talking—via FIFA 18. With each yearly release, EA Sports manages to tweak the gameplay and player ratings further toward unparalleled realism.
This winter’s update ups the ante even more as it adjusts in-game player ratings in accordance with their real-life counterparts’ performance this year. While these changes affect players across the league, I’ll be focusing on the unsung heroes on the field: the defensive players.
Let’s take a look at the rating changes to the top defensive players in FIFA, shall we?
Movers & Shakers: The Updates
Samuel Umtiti — This guy is a premier defender. Though the recent update does reflect upgrades to his stats (+1 Pace, +1 Drive, +1 Pass, + 2 Defense, and + 3 Physicality), chances are he won’t get any overall upgrade that’s worth more than a +2. This can be attributed to the untimely injury he suffered late last year. That being said, Umtiti is a definite asset for team Barcelona.
Vincent Kompany — Every major sporting league has its fair share of tragic stories, and FIFA is no different. As far as overall potential goes, Kompany had the makings of a great center back. Sadly, not being able to play a full season due to major injuries can really cost you, and it shows in his ratings. That being said, he still casts a formidable shadow on the defensive end of the game.
Giorgio Chiellini — Though there wasn’t any movement at all in Giorgio’s ratings, the fact remains that he is still one of the top defensive players. Doctor Chiellini deserves all 89 points in his overall rating.
Mats Hummels — Everything a center back needs to have, Mats Hummels has. In fact, he may very well be the greatest defensive player in the league right now.
Sergio Ramos — In all honesty, you can probably toss a coin between Hummels and Ramos for the best defensive player. Both give their respective teams the necessary defensive boost to give other players wiggle room on the offensive end. The fact that Ramos was given an overall rating of 90 at the start of the season speaks volumes about him.
Scrappers & Defenders: The Unsung Heroes
Defensive players are just as—if not more—important as players who routinely score goals. They’re the ones who have to do the unglamorous work on the field and upset potential celebratory moments for opposing teams. While players who score that ever-elusive goal are often the ones that get to bask in football glory, the truth is that the defensive players have an equal right to the limelight. As these top defensive players have proven time and again, both on the grass and on the gaming monitor, a defensive stop can spell the difference between winning and losing.
The manic roar of the crowd after you execute a perfectly-timed play brings a sense of accomplishment that encapsulates what football dreams are made of—and it translates well in FIFA 18. This game can allow us “Regular Joes” to dream all we want as the most recent updates bring those dreams one step closer to reality—the closest some of us can hope for.