FIFA player ratings are contentious every year because, ultimately, it’s mostly down to opinion.
Researchers look at every players’ performance levels and achievements over the course of the previous season and a decision is made from there.
Sometimes these ratings are pretty much bang on the money. Other times they leave fans scratching their heads.
HITC Sport have taken a look at the ‘most stupid player rating’ from each FIFA game from FIFA 05 right up to FIFA 20, which hit the shelves at the end of last month.
Some of these ratings are insane.
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FIFA 05: Kieron Dyer (88)
Kieron Dyer was a half-decent player at his peak and if it wasn’t for injuries, he could have been a top footballer.
But he was never an 88-rated player.
The Newcastle United and England midfielder had the same rating on FIFA 05 as, wait for it… Cristiano Ronaldo. Madness.
FIFA 06: Lionel Messi (75)
Football Manager knew that Lionel Messi was a future superstar from a young age, but EA Sports clearly had no idea.
The Barcelona legend, who is now widely regarded as the best footballer of all time, was a 75-rated player at the age of 18 – with a potential of just 78.
On the same game, Ronaldo was rated 83 with a potential high of 91.
FIFA 07: Cris (89)
Cris was a pretty good defender – but 89?!
This made the Lyon centre-back the eighth-best footballer on FIFA 07, which was absurd then and is even more absurd looking back at it.
The Brazilian defender, who made 17 appearances for his country, was rated higher than the likes of Carles Puyol and even Kaka.
FIFA 08: Scott Brown (86)
On what planet is Celtic midfielder Scott Brown an 86-rated player? That seems way too generous.
The Scotland international was on a par with both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Fernando Torres on FIFA 08. Hilarious.
FIFA 09: Aiden McGeady (83)
HITC Sport initially picked a random footballer called ‘Bert Ronhaar’, an 87-rated Dutchman. But this is actually Arjen Robben. EA Sports didn’t have the rights to the Netherlands national team on FIFA 09.
So instead, Aiden McGeady wins the award for most stupid rating on FIFA 09. His rating of 83 meant he was a better player than Luka Modric, Samir Nasri and Xabi Alonso.
FIFA 10: Cristiano Ronaldo (89)
Ronaldo had just joined Real Madrid from Manchester United, becoming the most expensive footballer of all time in the process, and had already won the Ballon d’Or as well as the UEFA Champions League.
But that wasn’t enough to earn the Portuguese superstar a 90+ rating on FIFA 10.
He was even rated lower than two goalkeepers – Iker Casillas and Julio Cesar – on that year’s game.
FIFA 11: Luis Suarez (82)
Luis Suarez had just scored 49 goals in 47 games for Ajax and had also caught the eye while playing for Uruguay at the 2010 World Cup – albeit not entirely for positive reasons – but 82 was still far too low for a forward of his talents.
Suarez had the same rating as Aaron Lennon and Marouane Chamakh on FIFA 11, which seems ludicrous now.
– And Kalidou Koulibaly (49)
And a special mention for this atrocious shout from EA Sports.
They thought Kalidou Koulibaly, now one of the world’s best centre-backs, was a 49-rated(!) defender with a top potential rating of just 63. Dear oh dear.
FIFA 12: Titus Bramble (74)
Okay, so 74 isn’t a massive rating, but it was still probably a little generous for Titus Bramble.
The error-prone centre-back was six points higher than Virgil van Dijk on FIFA 12.
– And Raheem Sterling (61)
Raheem Sterling was tipped for big things from a very early age, so why EA Sports thought his top potential rating was just 75 is anyone’s guess.
FIFA 13: Robert Lewandowski (83)
Robert Lewandowski had just scored 30 goals in 47 games for Borussia Dortmund and would soon cement his status as one of Europe’s most prolific strikers.
Seydou Doumbia was better than the Poland international on FIFA 13.
FIFA 14: Anthony Martial (63)
Anthony Martial was, in fairness to EA Sports, something of an unknown quantity when FIFA 14 was released in September 2013.
However, he was a France youth international with a potential future rating of 87, so 63 looks wildly wide of the mark in hindsight.
FIFA 15: Harry Kane (78)
Harry Kane would go on to score 31 goals in 51 games for Tottenham during the 2014-15 campaign, making EA Sports’ rating look horribly inaccurate.
Arguably the best number nine on the planet these days, Kane won the prestigious Golden Boot award at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
FIFA 16: N’Golo Kante (79)
In fairness to EA, not many people had even heard of N’Golo Kante when he signed for Leicester City from Caen in 2015.
A 79 rating meant he was only rated as a marginally better player than the likes of Tom Cleverley and Jonjo Shelvey on FIFA 16, but EA can be forgiven on this occasion.
Kante is now, of course, the best defensive midfielder on the planet and has been for a few years now.
FIFA 17: Petr Cech (88)
Petr Cech’s best days were firmly behind him by the time he joined Arsenal in 2015.
That he was still rated in the high 80s by the time FIFA 17 was released in September 2016 is a bit puzzling.
FIFA 18: Kylian Mbappe (84)
It was obvious that Kylian Mbappe was a future world-beater long before FIFA 18 hit the shelves.
The French forward bossed it for AS Monaco during the 2016-17 season, scoring 26 goals in 44 games, and had joined Paris Saint-Germain on a loan deal with an option to buy.
His 84 rating was a bit harsh.
FIFA 19: Alexis Sanchez (87)
FIFA 19 was released in September 2018 and by this point it was pretty clear that Alexis Sanchez was finished.
EA Sports clearly felt that the Chilean forward would come good at Man Utd but it never happened.
The 30-year-old is now trying to resurrect his career with Inter Milan.
FIFA 20: Luka Modric (90)
He’s the current Ballon d’Or holder, so deserves a high rating but his performance levels have dipped over the past 12 months.
We agree that the Croatian’s rating of 90 is overly generous.
– And Trent Alexander-Arnold (83)
Yeah, there’s no way that Trent Alexander-Arnold deserves to be rated lower than the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta and Lucas Leiva right now.
Is there a better right-back in Europe at the moment?