With Juventus lifting the Serie A title for a sixth straight season, interest has perhaps fallen in Italy over the past few years. However, things could be changing in Italy this season after AC Milan splashed £170 million over the summer, and Juventus lost both Leonardo Bonucci (to AC Milan) and Dani Alves. Throw into the mix a flying start from Napoli (15 goals in four games) and Inter Milan going about their business nicely, we may have a fantastic title race on our hands.
Italian football has a reputation for being quite negative, focussing on defence rather than attack, but with so much star-studded attacking talent now on show, things are changing. With Paulo Dybala, Dries Mertens, Hakan Calhanoglu and Mauro Icardi in the division, Italy’s Serie A may now begin to rival the Premier League and La Liga for the most exciting league in Europe.
After that overhaul, the FIFA 18 Ratings become all the more important, and we take you through the top 10 best players in Serie A in the game, with an Italian-themed Ultimate Team a serious option.
1 Gonzalo Higuain
Best stats: 92 Positioning, 91 Finishing, 88 Shot Power
The big Argentine Gonzalo Higuain takes the prize of being Serie A’s best player on FIFA 18. After making a £75 million move to Juventus from Napoli in 2016, Higuain bagged 32 goals in 55 games last season, forming a formidable strike pairing with countryman Paulo Dybala up front. The Scudetto triumph added to the three La Liga titles the 29-year-old earned at Real Madrid, but he is still chasing international or continental honours with club or country.
The striker improves by one for FIFA 18, with his pace (79), shooting (87), and physicality (74) all jumping up one, with passing (70) and defending (25) both falling one.
2 Gianluigi Buffon
Best stats: GK Positioning 90, GK Diving 89, GK Handling 88
Perhaps the most popular goalkeeper in world football, Juventus and Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon has been playing professional football for 22 years.
With Juve, he has won eight Serie A titles, along with three Coppa Italias adding to his World Cup win in 2006. The fact Buffon's overall rating has improved at the age of 39 is an incredible feat, and the Italian legend’s diving has increased by two to 89, but his kicking has fallen by six to 68.
3 Giorgio Chiellini
Best stats: 92 Standing Tackle, 92 Marking, 92 aggression
With Leonardo Bonucci heading on to pastures new, the defensive onus at Juventus will lie on Giorgio Chiellini. This is a challenge the centre back will welcome, and a Serie A victory this season may just be the sweetest of them all, with so much competition across the division this season.
The 32-year-old also improves by one to 89 this year, with his passing improving by three to 56 and dribbling by two to 60.
4 Leonardo Bonucci
Club: AC Milan
Leonardo Bonucci made the brave call to jump ship and leave Juventus for AC Milan this past summer, and looking at the level of talent they have on offer, some have made them favourites for the Serie A title.
The 30-year-old Bonucci was undoubtedly the best centre-back at Euro 2016, and if he can bring back some of those performances for Milan this season, they may just claim a first league title in seven years.
Bonucci improves by one overall point this season, with his dribbling (71) and passing (70) both up two, but his pace (68) falling by two and shooting (54) by one.
5 Paulo Dybala
Positions: CAM, ST
Best stats: 93 Ball Control, 92 Dribbling, 91 Agility
One of the most exciting men to watch in Serie A is Juventus man Paulo Dybala. Despite performing well for Palermo back in 2014/15, it was unclear how he was going to perform at Juve, but after smashing in 49 goals in just over two seasons, he has been a revelation.
Playing off a good old fashioned number nine in Gonzalo Higuain clearly helps the Argentine, as he is able to shoot from distance, pick passes or drive at defenders.
The 23-year-old moves from striker to attacking midfielder on FIFA 18, with his overall increasing by two. His passing improves by four to 81, and both dribbling and physicality by one to 91 and 67, but his pace (86) drops by two and shooting (85) by one.
6 Marek Hamsik
A machine that just keeps going, Marek Hamsik is the explosive powerhouse in Napoli’s midfield. The Slovakian arrived at the Stadio San Paolo ten years ago and has become a fan favourite chalking up over 450 appearances and over 100 goals.
The central midfielder loves to get forward, and is equally adept on either foot, as shown by his five-star weak foot rating.
He improves by two this season, with five out of six of his Ultimate Team stats increasing, most notably defending by four to 68.
7 Samir Handanovic
Club: Inter Milan
One of the most undervalued goalkeepers in the world, Samir Handanovic pushes Gianluigi Buffon very close in Serie A, with many regarding the Inter Milan stopper as the superior of the two.
The Slovenian has twice made the Serie A team of the year, but it is trophies that the 33-year-old now must crave, and with three wins from three, Inter may just have a chance this season.
Despite remaining an 87-overall rating, Handanovic’s stats have been tweaked, with his handling dropping by three to 86, but his diving, reflexes and positioning all improving by one to 87.
8 Dries Mertens
Any expert in Italian football would say that Dries Mertens was the best player in Serie A last season, after hitting 28 goals and nine assists in the division.
The Belgian’s performances have helped him secure a spot in Belgium’s first choice line-up ahead of the World Cup which is no mean feat, and he will now look to continue his form and perhaps launch a Napoli title challenge.
The centre forward or ‘second striker’ has moved from left winger this season, and his FIFA overall improves by one. His shooting improves by four to 82, and his dribbling by one to 89.
9 Alex Sandro
Positions: LB, LM
Best stats: 93 stamina, 89 sprint speed, 86 crossing
For much of the summer it looked like Alex Sandro was on his way to Chelsea, but Juventus stood firm as they believe the Brazilian can become the best left back in the world.
Now 26, last season was perhaps the year that he really announced himself on the big stage, picking up four man-of-the-match awards in Serie A. Consistency is now the key, as he needs to challenge both Filipe Luis and Marcelo for a World Cup spot with Brazil.
Sandro improves by two this season, with his physicality improving by eight to 85 and defending by two to 81, with his pace slipping one to 86.
10 Radja Nainggolan
Another man coveted by Chelsea is Roma powerhouse Radja Nainggolan. The stocky central midfielder featured in 37 of Roma's 38 games last season, chipping in with 11 goals five assists and three man-of-the-match awards.
A firm favourite at the Stadio Olimpico and on FIFA due to his impressive long shots, the 29-year-old improves by one for FIFA 18, with his shooting creeping up one to 80 and dribbling up one to 81. However, his pace slips two to 80 as well as passing to 80.
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