Bayern Munich recently completed the treble, winning the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League — and becoming only the 6th ever European side to achieve the feat. The team is already being spoken about as one of the all-time great club sides, but EA doesn’t seem to agree, looking at the ratings in FIFA 21.
In this first article, we’ll take you through some of Bayern’s idiotic new player ratings — mainly from players who play high up the field — with defensive players coming in a separate article.
If there was one player who got the worst possible downgrade in FIFA 21, it’s without question Bayern Munich’s midfield maestro Thiago Alcantara.
The 29 year-old Spaniard has proven his caliber and craft at the highest level of club football. In what was one of his best seasons at the club, Thiago bossed the midfield as he usually does and truly took Bayern’s game up by a notch when it mattered. Be it passing, dribbling, defensive work or getting the Bavarians out of tight spaces under pressure, Thiago displayed his all round abilities as a world class central midfielder. The folks at EA however, disagree.
Here is a quick EA FIFA comparison of Thiago(85) with Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos(88) and Luka Modric (87).
Not delving too deep, when it comes to dribbling, Thiago is undoubtedly clear of the Real duo. If we consider defense, all three of them have nearly the same stats with Kroos (71) and Modric (71) edging out Thiago (70) by 1. The passing however puts Thiago (85) far behind both the German (91) and the Croatian (89).
Now, comparing their 19-20 seasons using statistics from footballslices, these are charts obtained. (Note: Other than Kroos and Modric, these charts also include central midfielders rated higher than Thiago)
Thiago does nearly twice the amount of defensive work as Modric and Kroos but is rated by EA’s FIFA to be on par in defence. Whereas his passing, being better than both the Real Madrid midfielders, is rated to be far far behind.
Clearly EA’s ratings department have lost the plot, clearly. A downgrade of 2(!) from last season despite being an instrumental part of an all conquering, treble winning, record shattering Bayern Munich side ? Not even in the top ten midfielder’s list ? Rated behind players that have had statistically, visually and trophy-wise worse seasons ? Gimme a break EA!
Let me first start off with this. Robert Lewandowksi is the best player in the world in 2020. Not Lionel Messi, and certainly not Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s Robert Lewandowski. Now that that’s out of the way, let me continue with how on gods earth is Lewandowski Number 3 overall. Mind you, I wont compare Lewandowski and Messi since I do believe Messi deserve’s an approximate rating that he got this year. My biggest issue is the dual sided sword of overrating Ronaldo and Under rating Messi.
Within BFW we discussed FIFA ratings at large the previous night and we discussed how FIFA likes to keep their ratings based on a continuity. Basically, the roll over ratings from previous years to determine a more accurate aggregate. That’s great in theory but awful when not used properly. A great example is Lewy and Ronaldo. For the sake of continuity in their scores, lets quickly see how Ronaldo and Lewandowski compare over the past 3 seasons across all domestic and international competitions.
Since 2017/2018 Lewandowski has scored 41G/5A, 40G/13A, and 55G/10A
Ronaldo has, in the same time period, scored 44G/8A, 28G/11A, and 37G/7A.
Roughly speaking, that is 136G/28A in 142 games for Lewandowski vs 109G/20A in 133 games for Ronaldo. That’s 0.98 goals per game vs. 0.82 goals per game. Frankly, if anything, the past 3 years is clear evidence that Lewandowski is superior to Ronaldo. Which makes the drastic ratings even more staggering.
Pace, sure. Passing as well is understandable as Ronaldo has passed a tick higher than Lewy for the past few seasons. No one is expecting Lewandowski to be fast or be an elite passer as a No. 9. But less shooting and dribbling? Per Whoscored, Lewandowski has had an equal or higher dribbling stats than Ronaldo over the past two years. Shooting? I mean, the goals speak for themselves.
Overall, FIFA got this rating entirely wrong. There is no reason apart from bias that should cause Ronaldo to be rated higher than Lewandowksi.
Thomas Muller is a very interesting player on FIFA. The German has been 86 for, now, five of the last six editions of the game. Furthermore, when rating the player, EA has to boost his stats, because as per their formula, he “isn’t good at anything”.
In real life, Muller has perhaps had his best ever season, so it’s extremely puzzling for him to not receive an upgrade. When he only got 6 goals and 9 assists in 18-19, he received a 86. He shattered this with 8 goals and 21 assist in 19-20, but FIFA deems him only 86 material?
Furthermore, the German’s season has been regarded as a top-five performance in the world by many, and he was well placed to make a top ten run in the Ballon d’Or. Therefore, it’s perplexing that Muller has not even been ranked among the games top 45 players.
Even more confusing are Muller’s stats. The assist record breaking Bavarian scored a 82 in passing, while he recorded downgrades in pace, shooting and the same score in his other stats. It’s obvious to us Bayern fans that Muller has been robbed and should be rated quite a bit higher — but this is common for the Raumdeuter — like Thiago, he is perpetually underrated player.
As for CAM’s supposedly better than Muller, there is Bruno Fernandes (87), Kevin De Bruyne (91) and Luka Madrid (87) and Toni Kroos (88) as CM’s.
Football fans all over the world had a collective “BRUH” moment when Serge Gnabry’s FIFA21 card came out. Many started questioning on social media platforms whether Bayern’s chef has lost a leg, and they are absolutely right in doing so. Because, Gnabry has just received a -8(!!!!!!!!!) downgrade in pace. For comparison, this was his FIFA20 card (taken from Futhead):
Gnabry has arguably been a top 5 in the world winger this season, scoring a massive 23 goals and assisting 14 in all competitions for Bayern this season. He’s had his most productive season yet, and he gets... THIS? I mean, just ask the defenders of Tottenham, Lyon, Barcelona or Chelsea about Gnabry’s pace. They’ll tell you he’s pretty damn fast.
If that wasn’t enough, Gnabry doesn’t fare quite well against his wing counterparts. The massive reduction in pace almost seems like he’s done a Hazard and had too many burgers... Oh well.
Apparently, Hazard has a better pace rating by a whole 6(!!!!) units. Gnabry’s pace is closer to Bernardo Silva’s, who plays more like an attacking midfielder than a winger and is possibly the slowest winger at Manchester City. Gnabry’s dribbling stat is brutal: 85 compared to 92 of both Hazard and Silva? Wow.
Anyone who has watched Bayern play this season knows about Gnabry’s contributions in defense a bit too well. He’s been invaluable, tracking back and helping out the defense as an extra wing back at times, whenever required. He has also won balls numerous times in the final third, not allowing it to even progress to Bayern’s half. And what does he get for that? Yup, a defense rating of 43. FIFA just redefined “piss poor”.
Gnabry’s rating has been featured as one among the “Six worst rating mistakes on FIFA21” by OneFootball. Several websites and gaming communities have expressed their disapproval, and this really is FIFA and EA Sports at their worst.
Overall, we here at BFW have a feeling that the reason FC Bayern, know the Champions League and Triple Winning best club in the World FC Bayern, have some pretty horrendous ratings is the fact that they signed a long term deal with EA Sport FIFA’s competitors in Konami and PES. That is entirely plausible and would help explain some of the just downright doggy and horrific ratings.
Romelu Lukaku has a theory on why FIFA’s ratings have been atrocious. He has hypothesized that FIFA make their their ratings bad on purpose; they would like to get called out for it by players so that they receive more publicity. If that is truly the case, this year is truly theirs. Because it just cannot get worse than that.
Let’s be honest fifa just mess with the ratings so we players start complaining about the game and give them more publicity... i ain’t with this sh*t. I know what i do ♂️— R.Lukaku Bolingoli9 (@RomeluLukaku9) September 11, 2020
The player’s we have listed above have all had exceptional years, continual growth and have established themselves as elite players. No rating has been more horrific in my eyes than Thiago’s followed closely by Müller. And this is all without talking about the defenders, which we will be doing shortly in the second part of this series.
EA has a lot of fixing and adjusting to do to make this game a much more accurate representative of the real life players.