Every football fan around the world would love to be a player in EA Sports’ FIFA video game, but for some professionals, even that isn’t enough.
Earlier in the year, Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy had a pop at his defensive attribute.
Now it’s the turn of Bayer Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno. Or more specifically, Bernd Leno’s coach.
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In a humorous video posted to the Bundesliga side’s Twitter page, Leverkusen’s goalkeeping coach David Thiel uses Leno’s FIFA rating as a source of motivation.
Thiel is unimpressed with the number EA Sports have given Leno for his speed and so instructs the shot-stopper to complete a variety of training drills.
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And two days after the video emerged, EA Sports responded to Leverkusen with an updated version of Leno. Hooray!
The original video
One of FIFA's best 'keepers
Quite why the highly-rated 24-year-old was upset with his ratings is a mystery. Of all goalkeepers in the latest version of the game, only Manuel Neuer, Petr Cech, David de Gea, Thibaut Courtois and Hugo Lloris are rated higher than him.
Still, he can have no complaints now. His updated attributes include 88 diving, 89 reflexes, 88 handling, 81 kicking and 87 positioning.
Leno has enjoyed a fine season between the sticks for Leverkusen, who have the joint-third best defensive record in the Bundesliga.
His efforts have caught the attention of Barcelona, according to Spanish newspaper Marca, who claim that Luis Enrique will sign the former Stuttgart man in the summer if Marc-Andre ter Stegen leaves.
The paper references a story in The Sun that alleges Leno has clashed with Leverkusen boss Roger Schmidt, which paves the way for his exit.
Three-way battle to replace Neuer
Leno would probably start for most European nations if he wasn’t German. And there’s no guarantee he will replace Manuel Neuer when the Bayern Munich number one’s time is up - Ter Stegen and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kevin Trapp are also worthy successors to fill Neuer’s gloves.
His funny FIFA story is similar to that of England international Vardy’s.
The Leicester striker, who has fired the Foxes to the brink of winning the Premier League title, received a noticeable upgrade in his rating recently but doesn’t think he is given as much credit for his defending as he should be.
“Well, it’s obviously fair from FIFA so if that’s what they want to put me then that’s what it is,” the Leicester man told Squawka.
When asked which of his attributes deserves a boost, he said: “Probably my defending. I think I do actually work quite hard at getting back sometimes so get the defence up a bit.”
And here the rest of us are, just wishing we were in the game.
What would your FIFA rating be? Let us know in the comments section below!
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