Fifa 21 ratings for the game’s best players were recently released. However, ratings on a whole were extremely controversial and generally even worse and more haphazard than usual — and it’s an extremely low bar... If one team in particular could feel cheated by the new ratings, it would be treble winners Bayern Munich. The team suffered ratings of the highest order of bizarness — with the, I repeat, treble winners, not having any noticeable increase in overall ratings from the previous game.
We at BFW already ran a article on the biggest injustices in ranking among Bayern’s forwards, here. Among them, Lionel Messi at 93 but Robert Lewandowski at 91, and Thomas Muller at just 86. Now, here’s part two: Bayern’s defensive players.
What a season the electric Canadian had! Brought in as a potential winger for the long term from the MLS’s Vancouver Whitecaps, it was at left-back where he has had a meteoric rise in his first proper season at Bayern Munich. Strong, pacey, and with the tricks to manage his pace well, Davies has been nothing short of world-class this season.
EA Sports’s loony rating system did not spare the 19 year-old Canadian. It’s one thing to argue about who is the best in a position; it’s completely another thing to omit arguably the best left-back this season from the top 20 (!) fullbacks in the latest edition of FIFA.
The defense and pass ratings of Alphonso Davies are way off the mark. For comparison, here are three fullbacks who are far ahead of him in FIFA 21:
A defence rating of 76 does no justice to the amount of defensive work Davies puts in. In comparison, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker have defense ratings of 80 each. This is atrocious considering Phonzie’s 186 (58%) ground duels won compared to Trent’s 84 (44%) and Kyle Walker’s 66 (50%) in their respective leagues.
In addition to a lower defense rating compared to defenders on par or worse than him, EA also butchered Phonzie’s passing rating with a paltry 69. With 1307 passes completed (87%), Davies has shown that he knows to pass a ball around on the football pitch. In comparison, his counterparts in Liverpool have a slightly worse pass percentage.
This is not to say that Davies should be the next Xavi and deserves a 90+ pass rating. No. It’s to show that he is in the same league of professional footballers who can pass a ball around, not some part-timer kicking about in an amateur league. A rating of 69 is just piss poor in that regard for a Treble winner!
Here is a comparison of the 2019/20 league statistics (sourced from Squawka) of Davies and four highly rated fullbacks on FIFA 21:
From the stats, it becomes quite clear that the criminally wide gap that EA creates in simple attributes such as passing is hardly justified. It also suggests a vastly varying standard by which EA compares players while rating them. Not the first time that EA’s done that, but definitely the worst so far.
I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. Jan Oblak is still the best goalkeeper in the World. [Editor: Well...] Now that that’s aside, the no. 2 in the world is Manuel Neuer. Neuer has consistently been one of the best keepers in the world. With the exception of 2017 and 2018 as he was regaining of his form after injury, Neuer was again amongst the world’s best last season.
While I can concede that Neuer’s reflexes and diving may not be as sharp as the two younger keepers’, it is insane for FIFA to give Barcelona’s Ter Stegen and Courtois not only better positioning but also handling. When was the last time you saw Neuer grab a ball and drop it or fail to grab a catchable ball? Yeah, I cant either. I’m not denying that the other two keepers are good in their own respects, but all we have to do is look at their respective UCL campaigns to find the superior keeper of the three.
Oh, I mean c’mon, really?
Manuel Neuer in 2019/20 = _______@FCBayernEN | #UCL pic.twitter.com/LM2v6Ut9rs— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 1, 2020
Leon Goretzka doesn’t have an official FIFA card yet, so this was taken, based on his proposed stats, from fifplay.com and boy, is that a funny card. In fact, it looks uncannily like a card I saw of a certain Leon Goretzka in FIFA 20... but hey, they can’t be the same Goretzka, can they?
But but... this season’s Goretzka is bigger, more muscular, and more explosive on the ball. He’s also much better defensively — he bullied Europe’s best midfielders in the UEFA Champions league. So how is it that all his stats are exactly the same as his card in FIFA 20? It’s really hard to miss Bayern’s resident Hulk on the pitch. Highly questionable card. That physical stat needs to be at least 82. His defensive attributes haven’t received an upgrade, which is yet another joke of the highest order. EA Sports never fails to amuse.
To put his card into perspective, here are a few CMs rated higher than him:
Yes, Frenkie De Jong has an 85 rated card. The same FDJ who was bossed by Goretzka in the UCL quarter final. His defense is apparently better than Goretzka’s and his physical rating is only 2 lower than Goretzka’s.
I’m not going to delve a lot into Parejo’s stats because well... Villareal didn’t have the best of seasons and he was definitely not good enough to justify a card rated higher than Goretzka’s. Wijnaldum, in contast, played a part in Liverpool’s PL winning season, but was he better than his German counterpart? Also, what do I see here? Are my eyes failing me here or is Wijnaldum’s physical rating the same as Goretzka’s? I rest my case.
Along with Thiago Alcantara and Thomas Muller, David Alaba has most reason to be upset with the game’s new ratings. The Austrian has been given a paltry 84 card — lower than the likes of De Ligt (85), Skriniar (85) and Chiellini (87). Hell, even old-timer Thiago Silva has a better card (85).
And with this appalling rating, EA are telling the world that one of the best sides of the decade doesn’t have a single defender rated 85 of above (i.e. a top 100 player in the world). Are you kidding me?
In Bayern’s flicki-flaka inspired fightback under coach Hansi, Alaba has been a top 3 important player. His tremendous vision, technique, recovery pace, and reading of the game made him the best defender in a CL winning team — and, by extension, one of the world’s best.
The fact he got a downgrade is simple bizarre. His 2019/20 season was probably the Austrian’s greatest ever campaign and certainly much better than some of his recent seasons — seasons where he managed to get 87 and 86 ratings...
Make no mistake about it, this is a disgrace. Someone should report a crime for the robbery that has taken place here. Alaba at least deserves a 87+.
Bayern’s affiliation with Konami’s PES really seems to have hurt the team in terms of their FIFA 21 player ratings. Most Bayerns players, simply put, should be rated higher, and there are some real puzzlers in there.
True, FIFA is just a game, but the publishers should have a certain responsibility to provide accurate an representation of the game, especially when they produce the representation of footballers that fans from across the globe interact with more than any other. Wake up, EA!