It seems as though FIFA ratings become a bigger and bigger deal with each year.
Football fans can get incredibly passionate about EA Sports’ exhaustive rankings of the world’s best players and which stars have been upgraded or downgraded from the previous game.
Lionel Messi was given the top rating of 94 in the most recent edition, while Cristiano Ronaldo took a step down to 93 after his first season with Juventus.
But how do those two cards compare to others in FIFA history? Well, it’s a question that Goal sought to answer by constructing the games series’ strongest ever XI.
The team is comprised of players rated 92 or over and is so competitive that even Messi doesn’t make the cut. Check out the full side down below.
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GK – Gianluigi Buffon (97)
The legendary Italian earned an overall rating of 97 in FIFA 05, while his current rating stands at 83 after dropping down from 88 at Paris Saint-Germain last season.
RB – Lilian Thuram (92)
It says everything about the quality of this side that Thurman, then at Juventus, is the lowest rated player.
CB – Fernando Hierro (94)
The inspirational Real Madrid captain became the joint-highest rated defender in FIFA history with his stats in FIFA 02.
CB – Alessandro Nesta (94)
Being named Serie A defender of the year four times in a row was more than enough to earn Nesta a career high rating that Paolo Maldini would never reach.
LB – Roberto Carlos (94)
Who else? The iconic full-back was given a hearty overall rating of 94 on FIFA 05 near the back end of his Real Madrid career.
RM – Luis Figo (97)
Fresh from winning the 2000 Ballon d’Or and the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year, Figo was awarded a brilliant 97 rating in FIFA 02.
CM – Zinedine Zidane (96)
EA Sports gave Zizou his highest rating in FIFA 05 and his ICON card, which was released for FIFA 20, flaunts the same score.
CM – Ronaldinho (95)
Ronaldinho didn’t just have a Ballon d’Or to celebrate in 2005, but also his greatest FIFA rating with a score of 95 on FIFA 06.
LM – Cristiano Ronaldo (94)
The most recent card in the team, Ronaldo earned his total of 94 in both FIFA 18 and 19. His eternal rival Messi, however, doesn’t fit into the team.
ST – Thierry Henry (97)
In amongst the ratings madness of FIFA 05, it was Arsenal’s star man that collected the top rating.
ST – Ronaldo (98)
The highest-rated base card in FIFA history and could there possibly be a more worthy recipient?