The statistics on FIFA never fail to stir up controversy.
Each year, EA Sports take on the unenviable task of rating every footballer on their game, comparing them to stars of a similar ability and breaking down their strengths and weaknesses.
Most of the time, it’s that final overall rating that hogs all the discussion, but that definitive number is decided by a series of in-game statistics that assess key areas of performance.
Perhaps the most famous example of this is the ‘strength’ category, which has been dominated by Wycombe Wanderers’ Adebayo Akinfenwa in recent years despite only having a 65 overall.
In other words, you don’t necessarily need to have a consistently good card on the game to become number one in a certain niche – and pace often gains similar attention because of this.
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Every FIFA 20 attribute
So, bearing that in mind, we decided to find out which player came out on top for all 29 in-game statistics and we used futhead to crunch all of the data.
In order to guarantee fairness, we only used ‘normal cards’ – so no ICONS or in-form upgrades – and we’re only focusing on outfield players here. Check out our findings in full down below:
In Game: Physical
Acceleration: Adama Traore (97)
Agility: Neymar (96)
Balance: Erhun Oztumer (97)
Jumping: Cristiano Ronaldo, Emmanuel Sabbi and Tatsuya Hasegawa (95)
Reactions: Cristiano Ronaldo (96)
Sprint speed: Kylian Mbappe, Adama Traore, Leroy Sane and Anibal Chala (96)
Stamina: N’Golo Kante (97)
Strength: Adebayo Akinfenwa (97)
It’s a real mixed bag when it comes to physical attributes, although Ronaldo appears twice for his jumping and reactions as well as Adama Traore across the two sprinting categories.
Meanwhile, we’ll just have to appeal to Charlton Athletic fans to find out what makes Erhun Oztumer’s balance better than Lionel Messi’s and the rest of the world.
In Game: Skill
Ball control: Lionel Messi (96)
Crossing: Kevin De Bruyne (93)
Curve: Ricardo Quaresma (94)
Dribbling: Lionel Messi (97)
Finishing: Lionel Messi (95)
Free kick: Lionel Messi (94)
Heading: Luuk de Jong, Bas Dost and Leonardo Pavoletti (93)
Long passing: Lionel Messi and Toni Kroos (92)
Long shots: Lionel Messi (94)
Defensive awareness: Giorgio Chiellini (94)
Penalties: Max Kruse (92)
Short passing: Lionel Messi, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Luka Modric (92)
Shot power: Cristiano Ronaldo and Aleksandar Kolarov (95)
Sliding tackle: Radja Nainggolan and Sergio Ramos (90)
Standing tackle: Virgil van Dijk (92)
Volleys: Edinson Cavani, James Rodriguez, Marco Reus and Luis Suarez (90)
The most extensive and important segment in the game, skill attributes are a massive area of strength for Messi and he wins key categories like finishing, dribbling and ball control.
Ronaldo makes a solitary appearance and even then he’s drawing with Kolarov for shot power, while De Bruyne is one of the major winners thanks to his passing supremacy.
In Game: Mental
Aggression: Ben Pearson (95)
Positioning: Cristiano Ronaldo (95)
Interceptions: N’Golo Kante (92)
Vision: Lionel Messi and Kevin De Bruyne (94)
Composure: Lionel Messi (96)
We’re glad to see Kante getting the props he deserves for intercepting just about everything, while Pearson of Preston North End is the most temperamental player on the game.
In terms of the Messi vs Ronaldo debate, the former is victorious again for his superior footballing brain, but the latter is also given due props for his predatory instincts in the penalty area.
So, Messi is the overall winner after coming top in nine categories and Ronaldo duly claims the silver medal with a respectable four appearances at the top.
But if nothing else, it goes to show the remarkable preparation that goes into EA’s statistical decisions and that includes making Championship players number one in random categories.