FIFA 17 allows soccer, or football as its known in most places, fans to live their dreams and play in the grandest stadium all over the world. Want to win the World Cup with your nation? How about the Champions League with your favorite European club? You can re-live old memories or make up dreams in the comfort of your home with a controller in hand.
And asides from the teams, fans from all over the world can take control of Lionel Messi and chip shots in the back of the net, grab hold of Cristiano Ronaldo and fire a 30-yard rocket into the top corner of the goal, or make a last-ditch slide tackle with John Terry to stop the attack.
It’s every football fans dream, except when the digital counterparts of real-life players don’t actually resemble them. And that goes both ways. A great player in the real world struggling to play well in the virtual world or a terrible player going through five opposing defenders to put the ball in the back of the net.
The developers at EA usually get things right, but there’s always a set of players that fans are furious about, whether they are ridiculously overrated or criminally underrated. As a Chelsea fan, I’m still angry at EA for the ratings of my team during the 2008-2010 period, and I’m sure fans of other clubs have their own grievances – Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla boasted a rating of 84 in FIFA 14 that even hurt me as a rival fan! Here are the 15 most disgraceful rating in FIFA 17.
15 Wayne Rooney – 83
The legendary Manchester United striker only has an 83 rating, but even that’s too high. Wayne Rooney hasn’t been the same player since 2012, but his ratings make it look like he’s still very good. He isn’t. And while that may be hard for United fans to admit, the reality is that Rooney stayed on a team that was fledgling to make European qualification and it seems to have affected his ability. Should he have moved to Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea a few years ago and been part of that 2015 title winning side? That could have been one last hurrah for England’s highest goal scorer, but that player is gone and his rating should properly represent the reality on the field. It might be time to take one last big paycheck in the Chinese Super League!
14 Cesar Azpilicueta – 83
Known as ‘Dave’ to Chelsea fans that can’t properly pronounce his last name, Cesar Azpilicueta has been one of the most consistent defenders in Europe for the last few seasons. He’s played every Premier League match this season for Chelsea, who are on course to win the league title but he stills hold a shockingly low rating of 83. To put that into perspective, players with an 83 rating include the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Raheem Sterling, and fellow teammate Asmir Begovic. To say Azpilicueta is better than the trio is a massive understatement and the Spanish defender deserves at least an 86 rating, if not one in the high 80s. One would think that at some point, developer EA must surely give in and assign Azpilicueta the rating he deserves, but it hasn’t happened yet.
13 Romelu Lukaku – 85
For a man that has consistently proven he can score goals in the most competitive league in the world, Everton’s Romelu Lukaku – who recently rejected a contract extension and looks to be on his way out – should be furious at his 85 rating. To make matters worse, he currently leads the league in scoring with 23 goals in 31 games while also providing six assists, having hit two this past weekend against defending champions Leicester City. Lukaku may not be the most electrifying player on the pitch, but when it comes to being a striker, all that matters are your goals to games ratio and an 85 rating doesn’t reflect how good Romelu Lukaku has been in the past three seasons – especially in the current one.
12 Neymar – 92
Neymar’s rating of 92 isn’t exactly far off from his actual ability, but it’s the gap between him and other players, that are right at his level, that makes one question his 92 rating. Eden Hazard is rated 89 and Antoine Griezmann is rated 88. Can anyone really argue that Neymar is a significant three or four points higher than the pair? His monumental performance against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League withstanding, Neymar has not justified such a large gap between himself and the pair of Hazard and Griezmann this season. Fellow teammates Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi might not have much competition, but Neymar’s left-wing position inevitably draws direct comparisons to his competitors and he is not all that much better than them.
11 Antoine Griezmann – 88
The little French assassin deserves to be in the pantheon of the Ronaldo’s and Messi’s of the world, but only sports an 88 rating this year. That comes after a spectacular season where Atletico Madrid made the Champions League final and France made the final of Euro 2016. Now Griezmann ended up losing both finals, but nobody else apart from Real Madrid pair Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe can claim to have been involved in both club and international finals. His cool penalty against Leicester City in the quarter-finals of the Champions League shows he is a leader on the pitch and he’s consecutively gotten his team out of sticky situations this season. Next year’s World Cup in Russia might finally be the catalyst for change and prove to everyone that Griezmann belongs in the highest bracket alongside the world's best players.
10 Harry Kane – 85
Similar to Romelu Lukaku, Harry Kane has proven to be a consistent goal scorer for Tottenham Hotspur over the last few seasons, but only boasts an 85-overall rating. While many criticize English media for hyping up English talent more than they deserve to be, it seems the developers at EA have taken the opposite stance having not given Harry Kane enough credit. Kane also exemplifies a Tottenham team that has been on the rise and may even challenge for the Premier League title this season, sitting seven points behind the leaders with seven games to go. Kane’s recent injury troubles and the stress coming out of the Tottenham dressing room should be enough to show how important of a player he is to his team, and with an FA Cup semi-final coming up, Kane can once again prove his ability far above his current 85 rating. If that wasn’t enough, Kane’s 25 goals last season have him as the defending Golden Boot winner. It’s time for a boost EA.
9 Victor Moses – 78
Another Chelsea defender, Victor Moses has been a revelation in the English Premier League this season. Having been sent out on loan to a host of clubs like Stoke City and West Ham, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte opted to change Moses’ role from a right midfielder to a right wing-back. Many have proclaimed Moses to be the most improved player in the league, but he only went up a single rating from 77 to 78 since the beginning of FIFA 17. His injury a few weeks ago really showed how much he was needed and his rating – as someone who watches him week in, week out – should be raised a good four or five points. Maybe it’s because he’s not the most apparent player on the pitch, but he is certainly one of the most hard-working and it would be a crime to not see a significant upgrade in FIFA 18.
8 Manuel Neuer – 92
Is Manuel Neuer one of the best shot stoppers in Europe? Of course. But the German goalkeeper is not what he used to be and the likes of Manchester United’s David de Gea and Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois have closed the gap in reason seasons. Neuer still somehow boasts a 92 rating alongside the likes of Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. His rating seems to be more of a consequence of how EA changed their algorithm to come up with overall ratings as most goalkeepers have seen a sharp rise from their FIFA 16 ratings. Nevertheless, Neuer doesn’t deserve to be alongside goalkeeping greats such as Gigi Buffon and Petr Cech just yet. Another World Cup medal next year though and his rating may be just be justified.
7 Jamie Vardy – 81
The crown prince of Leicester City, the man who “is having a party,” and a defending Premier League champion after a season where he hit 24 goals, second only to Harry Kane and drawing level with Manchester City’s Kun Aguero, somehow only has an 81 rating in this year’s FIFA. Sure, one could argue that he hasn’t exactly been in scintillating form this season, but when Vardy is at his prime, there aren’t many defenders in Europe that can stop his explosive pace and keen eye for goal. His performance against Manchester City this season showed just how much of a devastating player he is and Leicester City’s resurgence in the past few weeks will only result in more goals from their main man. Regardless, he’ll always be remembered for THAT season when he broke Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record by scoring in 11 consecutive Premier League matches.
6 Ivan Rakitic – 87
Croatia’s Ivan Rakitic is a great player and a core part of Barcelona’s midfield. But he is nowhere near an 87 rated FIFA player. This is simply a case of yet another Barcelona midfielder who has been vastly overrated by the developers at EA. I get it, the Catalan side plays some beautiful passing football, but that doesn’t automatically mean all their midfielders need a high-80s rating. Rakitic is definitely not in the same class as Cesc Fabregas or Toni Kroos, as he can’t pass as well as Fabregas, and he doesn’t provide the defensive support of Kroos. Again, Rakitic is great, but not 87 great.
5 James Rodriguez – 87
The star of the show at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Rodriguez has not really justified his 70-million-pound transfer fee to Real Madrid along with his 87 rating. A quick look at his last dozen matches show that Real Madrid have either used him as a substitute or not even played him at all. Is that really the hallmark of an 87-rated player? He may not be getting enough chances to show his class, but that also means EA shouldn’t assume a high rating that he once deserved just because he’s not playing much football. A rating in the region of 83 would be fairer for the Colombian midfielder. Reports of a move away from Spain only highlight his fall from grace, although the young man has a lot of time to regain his old form.
4 Mesut Ozil – 89
Mesut Ozil has been absolutely shocking for a good portion of this season. Sure, he’s had his games that show his true class, but he can no longer get away with an insanely high rating of 89. 89! Mesut Ozil at his absolute prime is an 89-rated player, sure. But not in a season where he has continuously went missing in big matches for Arsenal. The rest of the squad aren’t playing well besides fellow world-class player Alexis Sanchez, but if Ozil wants to be considered world-class, he should look to Alexis and see how such a player should be playing every week. Mesut Ozil just looks like a tired man who has lost his love for the game and it’s unbelievable that EA still haven’t marked the once great attacking midfielder down to the mid-80s.
3 David Luiz – 84
David Luiz has been a titan in Chelsea’s defensive line this season and yet shockingly hasn’t moved from an 84 rating. This is the same Chelsea side with the highest number of clean sheets this season, with Luiz acting as the sweeper in a three-man defense. When David Luiz first came to London, some pundits called him a ‘PlayStation defender’ due to his insistent on coming out of the defensive to rashly attempt to tackle attacking players, but he is no longer that man. With the help of his coach Antonio Conte, Luiz has become a stalwart in his team’s defense and deserves to be an 87-rated player. He’s been at the heart of a squad that could end the season with two major trophies, and his rating should reflect his work on the pitch as one of the league’s best defenders.
2 Alexis Sanchez – 88
There have been conspiracy theories from English Premier League fans that complain about the ratings of their players as compared to their Spanish La Liga counterparts. Players in teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid seem to get an added boost simply for the fact that they plain in the Spanish League and no example of this is more prevalent than Alexis Sanchez’ 88 rating. Sanchez has been lauded as one of the best players in the world and after another superb season with Arsenal, he still somehow manages a rating four below Barcelona’s Neymar, and two below Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale. It looks like Alexis may be on the move in the summer with his contract coming to an with Arsenal in less than 12 months. Fans of the player will be hoping he gets his deserved boost in next year’s game, whatever clubs he plays for.
1 N’Golo Kante – 83
There’s an argument within the FIFA community that players must be great for an extended period of time before breaking in to the upper levels of the player ratings. That rule seems to have been ignored in the case of N’Golo Kante, who many believe has been the best player in the English Premier for not one, but two seasons in a row. The proof? Kante won the league with Leicester City last season as Chelsea fell to 10th place. He moved to Chelsea in the 2016 summer transfer window and now it is Chelsea that sit at the summit of the Premier League and Leicester City who languish in mid-table. The proof is in the pudding and Kante deserves his place at the top of this list purely for the size of the jump he deserves. N’Golo Kante should be a 90 rated FIFA player and his current 83 rating is the definition of disgraceful.