FIFA 14's player ratings: How do the top fives stack up?

The overall top five doesn't contain many surprises, but who has clinched the top spot for pace or passing?

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The Independent Tech

Fifa 14 has been released into the open arms of enthusiastic football fans worldwide, but you can bet that the players themselves will also be waiting to get their hands on the game - and find out how Fifa has judged their skill.

For the rest of us though, the issue will be more about building the best team - though hardcore gamers will of course be staying away from the top ranked players. Here's our breakdown of the game's top 5 players in each major skill category:

Top 5 overall:
  1. Lionel Messi – 94 (FC Barcelona)
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo – 92 (Real Madrid)
  3. Franck Ribéry – 90 (Bayern München)
  4. Falcao – 90 (AS Monaco)
  5. Iniesta – 89 (FC Barcelona)

There’s only one change to the top five best players on Fifa for this year, with Xavi dropping out in his old age to be replaced by the expensive talents of Radamel Falcao. Messi, Ronaldo and Ribery all keep their same ratings a year on, while Iniesta loses just one point.

No room in the top five for the world’s most expensive player Gareth Bale – who must settle for a meagre 87 rating overall. Don’t think he wasn’t worth the money though; if you combine every single attribute for a “Total stats” figure, Bale is technically the best in the world on Fifa by some margin.

Top 5 by pace:
  1. Mathis Bolly (Fortuna Düsseldorf)
  2. Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
  3. Jonathan Biabiany (Parma)
  4. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)
  5. Guillermo Rojas (Atlante)

With the (debatable) exception of Theo Walcott, no top players are afforded absolutely electric pace in the eyes of the Fifa scouts, while Biabiany has been a firm favourite for his “effective” wing-play for some time among players.

Notably you have to wait until the 93 region to find the really great all-rounders with pace – now set to always compared with one another, Ronaldo and Bale are tied on this figure.

Top 5 by shooting:
  1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
  2. Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
  3. Robin van Persie (Manchester United)
  4. Zlatan Ibrahimović (Paris Saint-Germain)
  5. Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)

Of all the abilities rated on Fifa, shooting has traditionally been the one where the stats men are the most stingy – wouldn’t want to make it too easy for us, it seems. The best score in the world – for Ronaldo – is 90/99, though it’s understandably very tight between all of the top four.

It’s surprising to see Marco Reus up there, strictly speaking the only ‘midfielder’ anywhere near the top. It also shows how far he’s come for Dortmund and Germany – go back just two years and he’s a 79-rated right-winger for Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Top 5 by passing:
  1. Xavi (FC Barcelona)
  2. Iniesta (FC Barcelona)
  3. Andrea Pirlo(Juventus)
  4. Cesc Fàbregas (FC Barcelona)
  5. Francesco Totti (Roma)

It feels like Xavi has been topping this chart since time began – and indeed, who can argue that Iniesta and Pirlo deserve to be there as well. With 37-year-old Totti creeping into the top five as well, Fifa clearly feels that a wise old head is needed to make a pass (or is that past?) master.

Top 5 by dribbling:
  1. Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
  2. Franck Ribéry (Bayern München)
  3. Arjen Robben (Bayern München)
  4. Neymar (FC Barcelona)
  5. Iniesta (FC Barcelona)

Messi takes this category by leaps and bounds (and skips, twists, turns, pirouettes…). Munich’s wingers will be terrorising full-backs with ease in 2 and 3 spots, while it is something of a surprise to see the mesmerising Neymar just in 4. Room for improvement there though – he’s significantly younger than anyone even close to him.

Top 5 by defending:
  1. Hugo Campagnaro (Inter)
  2. Walter Samuel (Inter)
  3. Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain)
  4. Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund)
  5. Andrea Barzagli (Juventus)

Somebody from Fifa has clearly appreciated Inter’s defending over the past season, with their centre-back pairing taking both 1st and 2nd place in this chart. Thiago Silva and Hummels would be expected to fair well, while honourable mentions from the Premiership go to Vincent Kompany and Nemanja Vidic – just outside the top five.