EA Sports have created a virtual monopoly in the football videogame industry with their annually refreshed series FIFA (I’m sorry Football Manager fans), and as a new title comes around every winter, the hottest debates hang over what players’ ratings could or should be for the new game.
For those unfamiliar, FIFA has a player rating system from 1-99. Players from 50-65 can be considered reserve or lower division players. 65-75 are usually younger players with high potential or other lesser players. 75-85 roughly are those that one would consider top level players, and from there on all players beyond are considered world class. The rating cap is around 93-95, as no player has exceeded a 94 rating since Ronaldinho and Iker Casillas (95 each) all the way back in 2005.
Now, let’s look at what Bayern Munich’s ratings should have looked like in my opinion after the 2012/13 season a.k.a. their FIFA 13 ratings. The change denoted in the bracket showcases the change from their FIFA 12 rating a.k.a. rating given by EA at the end of the 2011/12 season.
Manuel Neuer - 88(+2)
The German had been world class for multiple seasons but this really was the beginning of his ascendance to being maybe the finest keeper on planet Earth already at the age of 27.
Tom Starke - 78(+2)
While Starke did not get much game time, he was excellent when he played. Pretty simple.
Dante - 83(+6)
Dante had an excellent season, forming a great partnership with Jérôme Boateng.
Jérôme Boateng - 84(+8)
Boateng had arguably an even better season than Dante.
Daniel van Buyten - 81(+4)
A lack of the same amount of game time as Boateng and Dante let him down, but he was solid when he played.
Holger Badstuber - 78(+3)
Holger was similarly excellent when he played, but did not play much.
Philipp Lahm - 90(+3)
Lahm was simply one of the best players in the world. 15 assists in the league and Europe is only the tip of the iceberg of his play, but it is impressive enough in and of itself.
Rafinha - 79 (-)
Rafinha was certainly okay when he played, but registered under 600 minutes in the league and even less in Europe.
Diego Contento - 73(+3)
Contento grew as a player during this season, but lack of game-time stunts his rating from rising much higher.
David Alaba - 82(+9)
Alaba showcased this season why he was more than just a youth prospect already, and this massive upgrade showcases that.
Javi Martínez - 88(+6)
Martínez cemented himself as one of the finest defensive midfielders in the world in his first season in Munich, becoming the bedrock of the midfield and thus allowing his partner in the midfield pivot to push further forward.
Luiz Gustavo - 82(+2)
Gustavo was underrated going forward, but certainly did not set the world alight. Was still more than excellent when called upon though.
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk - 77(-3)
Anatoliy wasn’t great when he played, and he did not play much either.
Emre Can - 74
This is Can’s first appearance in FIFA, and he was certainly better than the 65 rating EA gave him.
Bastian Schweinsteiger - 91(+4)
Schweinsteiger was the best box to box midfielder in the world in 2013. Full stop.
Toni Kroos - 87(+6)
Kroos was severely underrated this season in my opinion. Playing as a 10, Kroos’ link-up was impeccable throughout the year.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg - 65
Højbjerg only got 25 minutes in the league, really not enough to cement himself as a talent.
Franck Ribéry - 93(+5)
Ribéry was Bayern’s key man this season, and seemed to only be getting better and better as the season progressed.
Xherdan Shaqiri - 81(+5)
Shaqiri was class when he played, but once again, lack of game time prevents him from being too highly rated.
Mario Gomez - 86
Gomez came off of the bench most of this season which prevents the upgrade, but 11 goals and and an assist in under 10 games’ worth of league football is frankly insane.
Claudio Pizarro - 82
Similar to Gomez, any growth was prevented by a lack of game time and mostly coming off the bench, but 6 goals and 7 assists in that little time was more than impressive.
Arjen Robben - 89(-1)
Robben was elite but was injured for a large portion of the season. He was present and important at the business end of the season, scoring the most iconic goal in German club football history.
Thomas Müller - 90(+7)
The best German footballer in the world. One of the best attacking midfielders of all time, and I think 83 was just criminal in FIFA 12. A massive upgrade needed.
Mario Mandžukić - 86(+8)
Mandžukić was on a different level across all competitions, scoring but also facilitating the asymmetrical and often shifting movements of the three attackers behind him. One of the most underrated strikers of the decade.
What do you think of these ratings? Are there any you would change? Have I had more howlers than EA? (If you answer yes I will be under your bed tonight). The discussion is open as always.