Most young-men who weren’t as naturally talented at football on the school-yard as the kids who played for their county side, probably owned a copy of EA Sport’s FIFA during their lifetime.
Where you could take the likes of Bristol Rovers to the angelic heights of the Champions League, as well as lure the likes of Pavel Nedved away from Juventus and bring them to the your side.
Playing FIFA as a child – and even today, is a way for many footballing-fans to keep up-to-date with today’s game; checking out the up-and-coming talent such as – Neymar, Kurt Zouma and Tom Ince is just a way of seeing how good they are.
But out of all of the video games produced, how good would an XI be composed of their top-rated players?
Goalkeeper | Oliver Kahn:
FIFA 2003. Rating: 95
The German shot-stopper is the highest-rated goalkeeper in FIFA’s history with a 95 overall. The former German international’s highest statistics were his 100 strength, positioning and aggression. The ex-Bayern player, is one of the eldest member of the side being born in 1969. He appeared over 86 times for Germany in a 12 year career (including one World-cup final).
Right-back | Lillian Thuram:
FIFA 2003. Rating: 91
Widely regarded as one of the best defenders of all-time – Lillian Thuram is the most-capped French international ever gaining 142 caps in 14 years – winning the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship during that time.
The 41-year-old is widely remembered for his tenure with the Turin-giants Juventus; where he won four Serie-A titles. In terms of his attributes on the game – he was rated as super-quick – 100. As well as having an impressive 100 ball control.
Centre-back | Fernando Hierro:
FIFA 2002. Rating: 94
The former Real Madrid centre-back was an amazing talent during the nineties and early noughties for both – Real Madrid and Spain – winning the UEFA Champions League no fewer than three time.
As well as two Intercontinental Trophies, the UEFA Super-Cup and five La-Liga titles in the course of fifteen years. He played alongside some of the finest players ever to play; Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and Raul in his eighteen year career. His main attributes are his 100 passing and strength.
Centre-back | Rio Ferdinand:
FIFA 2003. Rating: 93
A current player – who ten years ago was seen as one of the best centre-backs in the world. Twice he was the most expensive British footballer ever – moving to Leeds United in 2000, and from Leeds to Manchester United in 2002.
Much like Fernando Hierro; Rio Ferdinand has won countless amounts of silverware at club-level but nothing on the international stage. The 34-year-old made it into the side ahead of the FIFA 2006’s Sol Campbell due to his 100 heading and tackling.
Left-back | Roberto Carlos:
FIFA 2002. Rating: 94
Playing at left-back is the fantastic Brazilian Roberto Carlos. Born in 1973, Roberto Carlos made his name alongside compatriots – Ronaldo and Rivaldo in the early 1990’s he played for Inter Milan before joining Real Madrid in the summer of 1996.
He boasts a trophy-room bigger than most football teams; having won the FIFA World Cup in 2002, four La Liga titles,and three UEFA Champions League medals in his time at Real Madrid. He only recently hung his footballing boots up – Albeit at mega-rich Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala. His primary attributes would be his 100 pace, coupled with his 100 shooting.
Centre defensive-midfield | Edgar Davids:
FIFA 2003. Rating: 94
The Dutchman who went from Champions League football to non-league football in the course of ten years. The one-time Barcelona, Inter Milan and Juventus man now plies his trade at Barnet.
Having been one of the most recognisable faces in football for nearly twenty years now Edgar Davids is nearing the end of his career – again. ‘The Pitbulls’ primary strengths in this side are his 100 standing tackle, as well as his 100 stamina.
Centre defensive-midfield | Roy Keane:
FIFA 2003. Rating: 94
Partnering Edgar Davids in the holding-midfield role is the quick-tempered Roy Keane – who earned an 94 rating of EA in FIFA 2003. The fiery midfielder was a fantastic leader on-and-off the pitch for Manchester United – he captained the Red Devils through one of the clubs most prosperous times.
However he was not without his dark side. Being sent home from the 2002 World Cup,slapping Alan Shearer and ending Alf-Inge Haaland’s career.. Controversey aside Roy Keane’s 100 strength and 100 passing would be welcomed by any virtual-gamers side.
Right attacking-midfield | Zinedine Zidane:
FIFA 2002. Rating: 94
Another Frenchman in this all-star side. Zinedine Zidane was – to put it plainly – along with Pele and Diego Maradona – one of the best to have ever lived. In a career that lasted 17 years he netted 128 club goals, along with his 31 international goals (including two in the 1998 World Cup final).
England fans may remember his stoppage time double in Lisbon to inflict defeat on the English after leading earlier. Another member of the Real Madrid side that were dubbed ‘The Galactico’s’, Zidane’s 100 shooting, and ball control are phenomenal.
Centre-forward | Lionel Messi:
FIFA 12. Rating: 94.
Lionel Messi is the only player from the new-generation consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3) to make it into this all-star side; this just shows the Argentineans quality. Football experts around the world have heralded him as ‘the best footballer.. ever’.
At 25-years-old he is already the highest-scoring Barcelona player of all time (In all competitions; Paulino Alcantara would be the highest – but his goals were via friendlies). Although Messi’s statistics in this aren’t as good as the earlier FIFA games – it does not change his undoubted ability. His 93 finishing would be the best attribute in this side – especially from his centre-forward role.
Left attacking-midfield | Luis Figo:
FIFA 2002. Rating: 97
The highest-rated FIFA player of all-time is a man who once had a Pigs head thrown at him in a El-Classico match. The talented former-Portugal-international was another member of the Galactico’s of Real Madrid in the early 2000’s – and is the fourth and final member of that side to feature in this XI.
In a career that took him from Lisbon to Milan he amassed 795 appearances, scoring 133 goals (for club and country). Born in 1972, Figo won four consecutive Serie-A titles from the years 2005 to 2009. He is undoubtedly one of the finest players of recent years.
Striker | Andriy Shevchenko:
FIFA 2002. Rating: 95
Beating the likes of Ronaldo, Ruud Van Nistelroy and Thierry Henry is Andriy Shevchenko. The recently retired Ukrainian made his name for the Italian-giants AC Milan in the 2000’s, before joining mega-rich Chelsea in 2006 for an astonishing £30.8m. He is the third highest scorer in the UEFA Champions League – with 67 goals.
In his 18 year long career Shevchenko managed a 50% strike rate – notching 321 goals in 648 games. Sadly; many young-fans will remember Andriy Shevchenko for his poor-time at Chelsea, where he has been described as a flop. His 100 shooting, and 100 pace would help this side find the net.
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