There are winners and losers every year when EA Sports announces player ratings for FIFA. As players ebb and flow (and superstars find their way onto the game’s cover), ratings adjust accordingly. You can’t please everyone. And apparently you can’t please Romelu Lukaku.
The former Manchester United striker has a conspiracy theory about player ratings, claiming EA “messes up” with them in order to get players to “complain about the game and advertise them more”.
Let̵7;s face it fifa, just play with the reviews so we players start complaining about the game and promoting them more … I don’t mind that shit. I know what I am doing ?????
– R. Lukaku Bolingoli9 (@ RomeluLukaku9) September 11, 2020
Well, Lukaku is with you, EA. He “ain’t with that shit,” he said. “I know what I am doing.”
Lukaku is obviously upset with his player rating in FIFA 21, so let’s take a look at what’s what. Lukaku is the 65th best player in the game with an overall rating of 85. This is the same overall rating as the current Inter Scorers card in FIFA 20 and that is where the problem lies.
Lukaku clearly believes that his overall rating should, and should, have increased. The 27-year-old scored 34 goals in his first season for Inter. The last Inter player to score that many goals in his first season was Brazilian striker Ronaldo in 1997/98.
What is interesting here is that while Lukaku’s overall rating has stayed the same compared to FIFA 20, his stats have increased. Lukaku’s pace has increased, his shooting score increased by one, his pass increased by three, his dribbling increased by three, his defense increased by three, and his physicality remains the same. That’s a pretty decent improvement over last year.
Lukaku isn’t the only footballer who moaned a bit on social media about his player rating in FIFA 21. Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte, who has an overall rating of 87, appeared disappointed when he found out his pace is only 63.
I am waiting for my realization that I have
new FIFA rating 63 Tempo? pic.twitter.com/XyA8OgyF3g
– Aymeric Laporte (@Laporte) September 10, 2020
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who continued his formidable form last season with a goal in Arsenal’s opening game today, has been downgraded for FIFA 21. His overall rating is 87 out of 88. He had to laugh about it.
– Aubameyang PE (@ Aubameyang7) September 10, 2020
How does EA decide on player ratings? It uses a talent scout network called The Ratings Collective. Members “meticulously watch what happens on the field to evaluate, judge, and evaluate players based on more than 30 attributes that define a footballer’s ability”. Their assessments “come together to create the FIFA ratings – the definitive ranking of football skills of over 17,000 players”.
Some Bayern Munich fans wonder if The Ratings Collective didn’t see the German giants at all last season because their player ratings were hit hard in FIFA 21.
Midfield maestro Thiago Alcantara, who had not won the title and the Champions League last season, suffered a head scratcher when he was downgraded. He lost a total of two points, from 87 to 85.
Robert Lewandowski, who scored a staggering 51 goals last season, is now the third best player in FIFA 21 but many consider him the best player in the world and should have prevailed over Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
In the “EA made Bayern dirty” category there is more. Serge Gnabry, one of the most exciting players in the world, suffered a shocking eight point downgrade. Thomas Müller may have had his best season for Bayern, but his overall ranking remains 86. Müller is a real problem player for EA Sports because he “is really good at nothing except his positioning”. Are you reading Chris Tapsell’s wonderful piece, FIFA’s Biggest Obstacles? Thomas Müller, ugly football and you to find out more.
Maybe Lukaku will be right then. I mean footballers talk about it. Fans talk about it. And we talk about it.
Or maybe EA just thinks football isn’t quite what it used to be.