Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi endured one of the toughest seasons of his professional career. The Argentine failed to win a single trophy throughout the campaign for the first time since 2007 and was extremely close to leaving his boyhood club for greener pastures.
Despite the on-field drama, Lionel Messi remains the best football player in the world, at least according to the latest FIFA 21 ratings.
The 33-year-old beats his arch-rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, to scoop the podium finish. Both players do, however, see a drop in ratings as compared to last year’s title, FIFA 20.
Messi drops from 94 to 93, while Ronaldo drops from 93 to 92. The duo, who share 11 Ballon d’Ors between them, remain the two best players in the simulation title for the ninth year in a row. As for Messi, the six-time Ballon d’Or becomes the top-rated player in FIFA series for the 10th time.
While most fans expected Cristiano Ronaldo to pip his counterpart to earn the highest rating this year, EA Sports is, presumably, acknowledging the Argentine’s one-man show for Barcelona throughout the 2019/20 campaign.
In an overall underwhelming season, Messi was head-and-shoulders above his teammates, scoring 31 goals in all competitions in 44 appearances. Ronaldo, meanwhile, scored 37 goals in 46 appearances.
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was rewarded for his stellar season as he was named the third-best player in the game with an overall rating of 91. The reigning Bundesliga Player of the Season scored a whopping 55 times in 47 games, helping Bayern win a treble this season.
Liverpool ended their Premier League drought this season, winning the league title by a hefty 18-point margin. Their dominance was on full-show in the FIFA 21 ratings as they had the most players in top 10 (3). Virgil van Dijk (the best defender in the game), Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane make the top 10 with an overall rating of 90.
The best player in the Premier League is still Man City ace Kevin De Bruyne, who beat the trio with a 91 overall rating. De Bruyne is the fourth-best player in the game this year. PSG star Neymar completes the top five with a 91 rating.
FIFA 21 Top 10 players
- Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 93
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) – 92
- Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) – 91
- Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – 91
- Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) – 91
- Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) – 91
- Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) – 90
- Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) – 90
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – 90
- Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – 90
FIFA 21 will be officially released on October 9; those who pre-ordered will be granted full access to the game on October 6. The game will launch on all available platforms – PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. FIFA 21 will also be later released along with the official release of PS 5 and Xbox Series X.