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What Player Ratings Did FIFA 20 Surprisingly Get Right?

High Press 10 September 11, 2019
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So much attention is give to what player ratings EA’s FIFA title get wrong, nobody ever gives credit for ones they surprisingly nailed.

FIFA 20 had a few ratings that just made us do this:

Here’s a list of ratings that FIFA 20 made us nod our head in approval.

Zlatan Ibrahimović (85)

Zlatan is just awesome. His feud with Carlos Vela has reinvigorated him. He scores goals so easily it’s like he’s playing a different game than MLS defenders. He could and should go back Manchester United in January, where he’d be a productive addition.

Hakim Ziyech (85)

Ajax probably deserved one or two other squad members in the top 100 (Donny van de Beek? David Neres?) but Ziyech works for now. He’s arguably the best player in the Eredivisie this season and was inarguably the best last season.

Fabinho (85)

Liverpool’s #6 is the central nervous system of the squad. He’s always in the right place. He usually leads the team in passes per game. He’s a moster at dispossesing and tackling. He does the dirty work that often doesn’t get recognized. FIFA did. 👏👏👏

Andy Robertson (85)

Robbo should’ve been joined by his right flank partner Trent Alexander-Arnold, but it’s impossible to ignore the Scot’s impact on Liverpool’s offense. And the tenacity he brings to Liverpool’s defense. As he showed in the Champions League semi-finals, he’s supplanted Jordi Alba as best left-back in the world.

Dries Mertens (87)

Fans of Serie A are familiar with Dries’ work. The masses might not know the 32 year-old Napoli striker as well. His 16 goals and 11 assists are Hazard-esque. He’s every bit his 87 rating.

Hugo Lloris (88)

Lloris has earned a lot of credibility this season for an under-performing Spurs squad (is there any other kind of Spurs squad?). He’s the highest rated keeper in the Premier League so far this season. He should be rated higher than David de Gea (89) in FIFA, but he at least got deserved elite consideration.

Kevin de Bruyne (91)

After suffering an injury-plagued 2018-19 campaign, dropping KdB down into the high 80’s would’ve been understandable. Instead, de Bruyne is tied for 4th highest rated. With Eden Hazard (also 91) gone to La Liga, KdB has started 2019-20 as the player most likely to assume his Belgium country-mates’ status as best player in the EPL.

Lionel Messi (94)

If anything, the GOAT should be higher. Messi had another historically great season for his historically great career. He’s every bit deserving of the top spot in FIFA 20.

FIFA 20: 20 Player Ratings They Got Wrong

High Press 10 September 10, 2019
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FIFA 20 released their top 100 player ratings. Earlier in the day we wrote about what players were the most underrated and overrated.

We’ll take this one step farther now by identifying 20 players they got plain wrong.

20. Trent Alexander-Arnold

TAA didn’t even crack the top 20! The best right-back in England is not considered one of the 100 best on FIFA 20! Alexander-Arnold led Liverpool with 12 Premier League assists last season. “Corner taken quickly” will be a phrase said at Anfield for a century. He was by any measure a more productive player than Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal last season, who rated an 85.

19. Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Speaking of under-appreciated right-backs…

A leak came out that AWB rated a 79. While Wan-Bissaka isn’t in TAA class just yet, he’s a superior defender. His record right-back transfer fee was a record for a reason. The 21 year-old has proven to be worth it so far for Manchester United this season.

18. Jadon Sancho

Why does EA value aging vets over supernova youngsters? EA is like Manchester United before this past transfer window. “Is he over 30 and on the decline? Give him a 90!”

Sancho rates as an 84. He’s the best player on the second best team in the Bundesliga. He has the highest market value of any player in the Bundesliga.

17. João Félix

The theme continues: young players who aren’t rated appropriately. Atletico Madrid is not losing an ounce of sleep over making Felix a record teenage signing. He’s helped guide Aleti atop the La Liga table. Who would you rather have on your squad: Felix (rated 80) or that little dickhead Mauro Icardi (rated 85)? 98 out of 100 manager would pick Felix, right?

16. Romelu Lukaku

We here at High Press Soccer are very much on Lukaku’s corner. He was unfairly bashed at Man U. He’s a proper striker. He’s just not an 85. 82 or 83, all day long. It’s a small nit, sure. But again, would you take Lukaku over Sancho? Nobody would.

15. Matthijs de Ligt

Alright FIFA, so the one youngster you do highly rate is the one struggling the most in top tier football? De Ligt was putrid in his one game for Juventus so far.

One game does not make a season. However, de Ligt didn’t statistically rate as well as Felix, Sancho, or other young stars he outranks on FIFA 20. We’re not saying de Ligt isn’t going to be a beast–he is–but his FIFA rating this year doesn’t match his actual productive yet.

14. Marcelo

Another over-valued older player.

Statistically, Marcelo has been on a steady decline the past two seasons. He’s still a world-class defender, he’s just not an 85. Maybe outside of his home club, Real Madrid, is there another team in the world that would take Marcelo over fellow 85-rated-left-back Andy Robertson? There’s not.

13. Philippe Coutinho

He’s rated an 86. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

If BVB called Bayern Munich tomorrow and said, “He, we’ll swap Jadon Sancho for Philippe Coutinho…” here are the 7 things that Bayern would do:

  1. Feint
  2. Bang head on desk while feinting
  3. Get a concussion from hitting head on desk and then hitting the ground
  4.  Get put on an ambulance after head swells from concussion
  5. While in the ambulance on a fucking respirator, call BVB back and ask, “Hallo hast du mir gerade Jadon Sancho für Philippe Coutinho angeboten?”
  6. When BVB answers “Ja,” start crying tears of joy
  7. Literally flood the ambulance with tears from crying — never has such joy been felt

12. Ivan Rakitić

Rakitić is fine. He deserves the 86 rating more than Coutinho. It’s not that far off. But do the Jadon Sancho test to Barcelona like we just did with Coutinho to Bayern. The Catalans wouldn’t feint and cry a river of tears of joy, but they wouldn’t hesitate making that deal.

11. Roberto Firmino

He’s the most important player this season on the fifth best team of all time. FIFA should have him at a 90 and make him as big of a joy to play as he is to watch.

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10. Jan Vertonghen

Get the fuck out with Jan Vertonghen as an 87.

Is Vertonghen terrible? No. Not at all. Is he an 87? Let’s put it this way: if Liverpool called Tottenham today and said, “Hey Spurs, you guys look great this season. Really thought you were better than City that day. How did City draw you? Probably cheated. Anyway, we’ll swap you Joel Matip (rated 82) for Vertonghen…” Does Klopp even get to the third syllable of Ver-tong-hen before Spurs say yes?

9. Toby Alderweireld

Who did Tottenham blow at FIFA to get their 30 year-old+ center-backs rated so highly?

Alderweireld was averageireld all last season. Why were Spurs games such open shootouts? Why did collapses always feel imminent? Because Toby and Jan were locking down the opposition?

8. Jordi Alba

Another 30 year-old coasting on reputation. He’s rated 87. Andy Robertson is 85. Andy Robertson was clearly better than Alba in the UCL semi-finals. Let’s not over-complicate this. He’s still great. Other LBs are better.

7. David de Gea

Last season was de Gea’s worst in the Premier League. As noted earlier, he’s rated the same as Alisson. They were in different universes last year.

6. Sergio Busquets

If a 💩 emoji was wearing a Barcelona jersey, would it automatically get an 85 rating by FIFA? This is no besmirchment on Busquets. While last season was a bit of a down year for him, he’s still a top tier midfielder. He’s just not 89 level. That’s rarefied air.

5. Raheem Sterling

[Deep exhale] Ok, Sterling is rated 88. He should be more like a 90. He’s among the global elites. Painful to say. Gotta keep it real.

4. Sergio Ramos

Ramos belongs in jail the FIFA hall of fame. He’s an all-time great thug center-back. He’s also 33. He’s very clearly on the decline. Is he still among the best 20 center-backs in the world? Yes. Is he among the best handful in the world like his 89 suggests? Not any more.

3. Kylian Mbappe

He’s the third best attacking player in the world. Is that even really up for discussion? Believe it or not, Neymar, despite all of the distractions and injury issues, is still a statistically better player than Mbappe. However, Mbappe > Ronaldo.

He’s also the most valuable player in the world. That should matter.

2. Luka Modric

He’s 34. That’s old. Last season was his worst statistical domestic season since…EVER. He’s a legend. Don’t even have a problem with the Lifetime Achievement Ballon D’or he won. He’s not one of the 10 best players in the world any more as his 90 rating would suggest.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Just sticking to the soccer stuff…he’s still great. He’s still elite. He’s not the second best player in the world any more. Messi is better. When healthy, Neymar is better. Mbappe is better. When healthy, yes Kevin de Bruyne is better. Yes, Mo Salah is better. Last season he declined. This will be Ronaldo’s worst season he’s had ever. Next season will be even worse.

Father time always wins.

Except when it comes to FIFA ratings.

FIFA 20: Most Underrated and Overrated Players

Avatar September 9, 2019
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Now that the European soccer season is in full swing, FIFA is also back with it’s latest edition! FIFA 20 is scheduled to release on September 27th across all platforms. However, Electronic Arts (EA) recently revealed the ratings for the highest-ranked players.

The FIFA title is the most popular sports video game in the world. EA has elevated its franchise by introducing new in-game mechanism and a more realistic feel to the game over the years. But sometimes, they throw realism out of the window when it comes to their rating system

Occasionally, some “marquee” superstars are randomly given high ratings despite an average recent campaign with their club. Moreover, some players who outperformed many of these big stars are rated much lower due to the inferiority in their popularity or lack of marketability.

Underrated FIFA 20 Players

Most underrated FIFA 20 players: Virgil van Dijk, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Kylian Mbappe, João Félix, Jadon Sancho

Even though FIFA have only announced ratings for the top 100+ players in the game so far, there are already some glaring numbers for last season’s impressive players. Virgil Van Dijk makes the top 10 ranked players (thankfully), but he’s still rated only 90.

Sure, he’s the highest-rated defender in the game. But considering he wasn’t dribbled past all season and was the most vital cog in Liverpool’s Champions League victory, he deserves a higher number. Let’s not forget he also won the UEFA Player of the Year award ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (rated 1 & 2, respectively) and is the likely Ballon D’or recipient. Come on FIFA, give defenders their due!

Speaking of defenders, Manchester United new-boy Aaron Wan-Bissaka is rated a shockingly low 79! It’s only a +1 increase from his FIFA 19 rating! AWB had a breakthrough season with Crystal Palace in which he kept the best defensive stats in the Premier League, often outperforming top wingers. Under-performing Jesse Lingard is rated at 82. Is there a manager in the world that would prefer having Lingard over Aaron Wan-Bissaka? Of course not.

Kylian Mbappe’s only received a +1 boost, which isn’t warranted after his sensational goal-scoring heroics at Paris Saint-Germain. He scored 37 goals in Ligue 1+Champions League last season, much more than some of the 90+ rated players. Ah well, his maximum potential I think will surely excite career-mode fanatics.

When it comes to youngsters with huge potential, João Félix hasn’t received much love from FIFA. He’s only rated at an 80 despite a breakthrough season in which he contributed towards 31 goals. He was also granted a record $130 million move to Atletico Madrid. FIFA doesn’t rate on transfer fees, of course, but there was no question that Felix is an elite talent. He’s continued to show why all summer.

However, the most grossly underrated player this year is probably Jadon Sancho. Rated at only 84, he’s criminally under-scored by FIFA after a terrific season in the Bundesliga. He scored 12 and assisted 14 goals for Borussia Dortmund, with only Lionel Messi matching the double-figure in goals & assists across the top-four leagues. He’s rated 10 points lower than Messi. While nobody is claiming Messi is over-rated, Sancho has earned a higher number based on output.

Overrated FIFA 20 Players

Most overrated FIFA 20 players: Neymar, Fernandinho, Alex Sandro, David de Gea, Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo

Now that the underrated part is out on the way, there are some players rated well beyond what they deserved for last season’s performances. This might be controversial (which is fitting, as so is he), but for me, Neymar hasn’t warranted the 92 rating. He’s packed with talent but spent the crucial part of last season injured. He didn’t deliver in either the Champions League or Copa America and doesn’t deserve to be the 3rd best player in FIFA 20. Both Eden Hazard and Mo Salah are deserving more.

After securing back-to-back Premier League titles, seems obvious that Manchester City players would be rated high up. However, Fernandinho getting an 87 rating isn’t warranted for me. He did put in solid performances last season, but should ideally be in the 85 region. Considering that Nicolas Pepe, Sancho and even Trent Alexander-Arnold are rated way lower, this doesn’t make much sense.

Juventus is hilariously named “Piemonte Calcio” this season thanks to licensing issues. Not as funny is that left-back Alex Sandro is rated at 85! He wasn’t their best defensive option and didn’t contribute towards that many goals. He’s rated exactly as team-mate Matthijs De Ligt, which isn’t logical considering the Dutch teenager shone through on the biggest occasions last season. Sandro should be in the lower 80 region.

David De Gea maintains his rule as United’s #1 rated player, but isn’t warranted a rating as high as year’s past. He was too error-prone last season, rarely keeping clean-sheets in a difficult campaign. Rating him as much as Allison, who was influential to Liverpool’s Champions League win, isn’t fair or accurate. An 87ish rating would’ve been more fitting.

Luka Modric being involved in the top 10 ratings just isn’t justified for me. Just because he won the Balon D’Or last year doesn’t mean he should be handed a high-up rating. Modric sporadically contributed in Real Madrid’s stuttering La Liga campaign and flopped out in the Champions League. Considering that Karim Benzema– who was arguably Madrid’s best player last season- is rated at 87 itself proves the Croatian’s been overrated.

Finally, are we sure that Ronaldo is still the 2nd best player in the world? Sure, he still comes through in big moments during the Champions League. But at 34 years old, other players like Mbappe, van Dijk, Hazard, and Salah have eclipsed his overall productivity and impact.

Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard Are the Covers of FIFA 20

High Press 10 July 26, 2019
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FIFA 20 has unveiled two covers for this year’s edition: Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard.

Hazard was one of the best attacking players in the Premier League the past few years with Chelsea. He was sold to Real Madrid this summer for approximately €100 million. This is Hazard’s third time he’s appeared on a FIFA cover version. He’ll appear on the Standard edition of the game this year.

This is VVD’s first cover appearance. Van Dijk was the PFA Player of the Year and led Liverpool to their sixth Champions League trophy. Naturally, he’ll appear on the Champions edition of the game. VVD is in contention to be the first defender since 2006 (Fabio Cannavaro) to win the Ballon d’Or.

Says VVD of being on the cover:

“It is a huge honour for me to be on the cover of FIFA 20. I’ve been playing FIFA for as long as I can remember, and so it’s an extremely proud moment for me to be representing Liverpool FC on the cover of such an iconic game.”

– Virgil van Dijk statement

FIFA covers by year

Going back into the ’90’s, here are FIFA covers by year. Some quick thoughts first:

  1. Why did it take FIFA until 2013 to get Messi on the cover?
  2. Jozy Altidore has been in our lives since the 2008 edition!
  3. Zlatan has been in our lives since the 2002 edition! And how has he not been back on the cover since?
  4. Marco Reus makes a cover before Cristiano Ronaldo 🤦‍♂️
  5. Alex Morgan made the cover in 2016. Is there still time to get Megan Rapinoe on this year’s cover? Come on, FIFA. Ride the women’s soccer wave. It’ll sell.
  • FIFA International (1993): David Platt and Piotr Świerczewski
  • FIFA 95: Erik Thorstvedt (in the US / North America: Alexi Lalas !!!)
  • FIFA Soccer 96: Frank de Boer and Jason McAteer
  • FIFA 97: Bebeto (world) / David Ginola (Europe)
  • FIFA: Road to World Cup 98: David Beckham (UK), Roy Lassiter (US),
    Raúl (Spain), Paolo Maldini (Italy), David Ginola (France), Andreas Möller (Germany)
  • FIFA 99: Dennis Bergkamp (World), Kasey Keller (US),
    Fernando Morientes (Spain), Fabien Barthez (France),
    Olaf Thon (Germany), Hidetoshi Nakata (Japan), Rui Costa (Portugal), Christian Vieri (Italy), Ahn Jung-hwan (South Korea)
  • FIFA 2000: Pep Guardiola (Spain), Eddie Pope (US), Sol Campbell (UK), Vincenzo Montella (Italy), Emmanuel Petit (France), Jaap Stam (Netherlands), Vassilios Tsiartas (Greece), Mehmet Scholl (Germany), Simão (Portugal), Raí (Brazil), Pär Zetterberg (Sweden), Kim Byung-ji (South Korea), Kiatisuk Senamuang (Thailand), Hidetoshi Nakata (Japan)
  • FIFA 2001: Paul Scholes (UK), Ben Olsen (US), Lothar Matthäus (Germany), Thierry Henry (France), Edgar Davids (Netherlands), Gheorghe Hagi (Romania), Ricardo Sá Pinto (Portugal), Gaizka Mendieta (Spain), Filippo Inzaghi (Italy), Leonardo (Brazil), Shimon Gershon (Israel), Ko Jong-soo (South Korea)
  • FIFA Football 2002: Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden), Thierry Henry (France, UK, USA), Tomasz Radzinski (US also), Hidetoshi Nakata (Japan), Nuno Gomes (Portugal), Francesco Totti (Italy), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Netherlands), İlhan Mansız (Turkey), Gerald Asamoah (Germany), Lampros Choutos (Greece), Hong Myung-bo (South Korea), Sibusiso Zuma (South Africa and Denmark), Nawaf Al-Temyat (Saudi Arabia), Roberto Carlos (Brazil), Iker Casillas (Spain), Tomasz Frankowski (Poland)
  • FIFA Football 2003: Landon Donovan (US only), Roberto Carlos, Ryan Giggs, and Edgar Davids (ROW)
  • FIFA Football 2004: Thierry Henry, Alessandro Del Piero and Ronaldinho
  • FIFA Football 2005: Patrick Vieira, Fernando Morientes and Andriy Shevchenko (however in North America only, Oswaldo Sánchez replaced Patrick Vieira)
  • FIFA 06: Wayne Rooney & Ronaldinho (in North America only, Omar Bravo and Freddy Adu (!!!) replaced Wayne Rooney)
  • FIFA 07: Wayne Rooney and Ronaldinho (world), Ronaldinho, Landon Donovan and Francisco Fonseca (North America), Ronaldinho and Lukas Podolski (Germany), Ronaldinho and Juninho Pernambucano (France), Ronaldinho and David Villa (Spain)
  • FIFA 08: Wayne Rooney and Ronaldinho (world),
    Ronaldinho, Jozy Altidore and Guillermo Ochoa (North America), Ronaldinho and Sergio Ramos (Spain), Ronaldinho and Miroslav Klose (Germany), Ronaldinho and Euzebiusz Smolarek (Poland)
  • FIFA 09: Wayne Rooney and Ronaldinho (world), Ronaldinho, Maurice Edu and Guillermo Ochoa (North America), Wayne Rooney and Sergio Ramos (Spain), Ronaldinho and Kevin Kuranyi (Germany), Ronaldinho and Balázs Dzsudzsák (Hungary), Ronaldinho and Daniele De Rossi (Italy)
  • FIFA 10: Theo Walcott, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney (UK), Frank Lampard, Sacha Kljestan and Cuauhtémoc Blanco (North America), Wayne Rooney and Tim Cahill (Australia), Wayne Rooney and Andreas Ivanschitz (Austria), Wayne Rooney and Balázs Dzsudzsák (Hungary), Wayne Rooney and Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Ronaldinho and Giorgio Chiellini (Italy), Karim Benzema, Steve Mandanda and Guillaume Hoarau (France), Wayne Rooney and Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Frank Lampard and Simão (Portugal), Karim Benzema and Xavi (Spain), Sergei Semak (Russia)
  • FIFA 11: Kaká (world), Wayne Rooney (UK, Ireland & Australia), Mesut Özil and René Adler (Germany), Tim Cahill (Australia), Jakub Błaszczykowski (Poland)
  • FIFA 12: Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere (world), Landon Donovan and Rafael Márquez (North America), Jakub Błaszczykowski (Poland)
  • FIFA 13: Lionel Messi (world), Messi, Joe Hart and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (UK only), Jakub Błaszczykowski (Poland)
  • FIFA 14: Lionel Messi (world), Javier Hernández (North America),
    Gareth Bale (UK & Ireland), Stephan El Shaarawy (Italy), Arturo Vidal and Radamel Falcao (Argentina, Chile, Panama, Venezuela), Michal Kadlec (Czech Republic), Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Balázs Dzsudzsák (Hungary), Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland), David Alaba (Austria), Tim Cahill (Australia), Maya Yoshida and Makoto Hasebe (Japan), Mustafa Al-Bassas (Middle East)
  • FIFA 15: Lionel Messi (world), Clint Dempsey (USA), Eden Hazard (UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Netherlands), Gonzalo Higuaín (Italy), Tim Cahill (Australia), Robert Lewandowski (Poland), David Alaba (Austria), Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland), Javier Hernández (Mexico), Arturo Vidal (South America), Michal Kadlec (Czech Republic), Arda Turan (Turkey), Atsuto Uchida (Japan), Yahya Al-Shehri (Arabian Peninsula)
  • FIFA 16: Lionel Messi (world), Jordan Henderson (UK and Ireland),
    Alex Morgan (USA), Sebastian Giovinco (MLS edition), Antoine Griezmann (France), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Shinji Kagawa (Japan), David Alaba (Austria), Oscar (Brazil), Yann Sommer (Switzerland), Juan Cuadrado (Latin America), Marco Fabián (Mexico), Steph Catley & Tim Cahill (Australia), Christine Sinclair (Canada), Mauro Icardi (Italy), Arkadiusz Milik (Poland), Arda Turan (Turkey), Omar Hawsawi (Arab version)
  • FIFA 17: Marco Reus
  • FIFA 18: Cristiano Ronaldo (world), Ronaldo (icon edition)
  • FIFA 19: Cristiano Ronaldo (world), Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar (Champions edition)
  • FIFA 20: Eden Hazard (Standard), Virgil van Dijk (Champions)

Is there a FIFA curse?

No.

That’s just stupid.

First, by the sheer volume of cover athletes above, guess what: shit is going to happen. Somebody is going to have a bad year.

FIFA isn’t like Madden. American football is almost entirely an American sport. One athlete is all Madden needs. Yeah, there have been some fluky off years or injuries after a football player has appeared on Madden. However, a typical player appears on Madden after a breakout / best year. They’re going to regress. That’s natural.

On FIFA, has Messi declined since being on the cover multiple times? Did Rooney become less productive during his cover run?

So no, there isn’t a FIFA curse.

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