The day FIFA release their latest player ratings has become a much anticipated annual event on the footballing calendar.
It always manages to raise a few eyebrows, spark intense fan debate and ruffle a few players’ feathers as they discover their new stats in a club video; putting on a brave face but clearly hurt at their lack of pace.
It’s been a close-run thing of late. In the last five years, FIFA has twice ranked Messi the better player by a point and twice ranked Ronaldo as the top dog by a point, once tying them on 94. However, the newly released FIFA 22 player ratings have revealed who they now see as the best of the best.
While Messi has maintained his 93 overall rating and remains the highest-rated player in the game, Ronaldo has been dumped down to a 91. Not only is this two points adrift of Messi, but it’s also a point lower than Robert Lewandowski and level with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Kevin De Bruyne.
While his stats have seen a notable drop in more physical attributes, such as sprint speed and stamina, he has maintained or improved most of his passing and shooting stats.
Die-hard Ronaldo fans may be disappointed by his FIFA 22 card, but these stats don’t dictate the season to come, and FIFA has a habit of underestimating players.
Since Messi has made his high-profile switch to Paris Saint-Germain, he has so far failed to impress. Meanwhile, Ronaldo marked his second EPL debut by scoring two goals, including the match-winner.
Write him off at your peril.