Every year EA Sports are handed the thankless task of deciding ratings for champions, contenders, relegation-fodder and everyone else in between. They’re not infallible, nor do they have access to a crystal ball when making their decisions.
It’s a near-impossible task to sift through every team’s performance last season and conclude whether they’re a genuine talent or just another one-season wonder. The same goes for players too, but it can be easier to pick up on overrated footballers when you see them every time you log into Ultimate Team.
If you can drag yourself away from FIFA’s wildly successful mode and drop back into realistic matches, you’ll notice that several of FIFA 16’s biggest teams have been given incredibly generous ratings when compared with their FIFA 16 Coins XBOX 360. Title winners have fallen to unimaginable lows, and champions have withered away, while former giants are constantly given over-inflated ratings due to their reputation and historical success.
Any earlier in the season, you could claim that it was just a dip in form, but with almost all of the domestic leagues flicking into double figures in the ‘games played’ column, we have a far better idea on who the seriously overrated teams actually are…
8. Marseille – 4.5 Stars
FIFA 16: Marseille are an attractive alternative to PSG in the game. They are to Ibrahimovic & Co. what Dortmund are to Bayern Munich. They may not have a team crammed full of world megastars, but with a 4.5 star rating, Marseille are capable of beating just about anybody. Nicolas Nkoulou and Lassana Diarra provide solidity at centre back and central midfield respectively, while Remy Cabella, Michy Batshuayi and the rampant pace of Romain Alessandrini provide more than enough quality going forward.
Reality: The seasoned French side have only recently ended a 5 game winless run after Batshuayi and Alessandrini both scored and assisted one another in a 2-1 win over Lille. Despite taking a much-needed three points, Marseille are sitting 14th in Ligue 1, hardly a position worthy of such a high FIFA rating.
7. Real Sociedad – 4.5 Stars
FIFA 16: Real Sociedad are La Liga’s football hipster side in FIFA 16. Forget Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico. Don’t bother with Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao or Valencia. Real Sociedad are a 4.5 star team with some relatively obscure talent backing up their claim to be a true Spanish contender/underdog. They come armed with four 79-rated central midfielders, 80 and 81 rated centre backs, while former Arsenal product Carlos Vela runs the show with an 82 rating. What’s not to like?
Reality: They’re one of the more famous mid-average Spanish sides in the UK due to the fact that former Everton and Manchester United manager David Moyes is in charge. Things were looking good for a time following an excellent 7th place finish, but his position has come under huge pressure after a weak start to the season. Sociedad are 15th, and need to bounce back. Quickly.
6. AC Milan – 4.5 Stars
FIFA 16: They may not be the great side they once were, but AC Milan still come with an excellent rating and a fine crop of players to run riot with. Colombian striker Carlos Bacca is the pick of the bunch, but his stats are more impressive than a simple 82 rating. He’s got pace, power, shooting and dribbling ability. Combine him with Jeremy Menez and Mario Balotelli, and you’ve got yourself a potent strikeforce to compliment a rugged, sturdy defence.
Reality: You don’t need me to explain the depressing details behind AC Milan’s painful fall from the top of Italian football. You can see for yourself that their squad is devoid of quality such as Paolo Maldini, Andrea Pirlo, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alessandro Nesta and countless more world class footballers, and they’re suffering because of it. Milan languish in 8th place, while fierce rivals Inter have clawed their way back among the elite, sitting in 3rd.
5. Stoke City – 4.5 Stars
FIFA 16: If Real Sociedad are the hipster choice for La Liga, Stoke are the Premier League equivalent. In England you’ve got the so-called ‘top teams’ made up of Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea (more on them later…) and the chasing pack of Euro-contenders includes Spurs, Liverpool and Everton. However, Stoke City find themselves on par with those 4.5 star teams, with Bojan, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Ibrahim Afellay in their squad.
Reality: Stoke were widely tipped to be this season’s dark horses after an impressive summer spending spree and solid management from a settled Mark Hughes, though in reality, their stars haven’t quite lived up to their billing. Bojan is yet to get back up to top speed following injury, Shaqiri has only shown glimpses of his class, and Afellay is yet to truly cement down a first team slot. They’re a good team, but they’re simply not great.
4. England – 5 Stars
FIFA 16: If you want a classic international team with former glory and a fresh set of stars, England are a great bet. You can assemble a perfect balance of experience in the shape of Wayne Rooney and John Terry, and pace in the form of Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Theo Walcott. Quality, power, pace, England have it all…
Reality: Each year it’s a case of seeing how overrated England are. Every single FIFA game notches them well above their level in reality, and FIFA 16 is no exception. On the face of it, England have a 100% winning record in their European Qualifier group. 30 points out of 30 available. Congratulations England, you toppled the mighty San Marino, behemoths Lithuania and fearsome Estonia… The story is recurring. England are excellent against the minnows, but can’t hold their own against the best in the world.
3. Netherlands – 5 Stars
FIFA 16: Holland are a slick, fluid, exciting team, and a great alternative to the usual suspects like Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Spain; plus you get to wear those orange kits. They’re slightly lacking in defence, but they more than make up for it with pure attacking class in the shape of Robin Van Persie, Arjen Robben, Memphis Depay and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Reality: Holland are out of Euro 2016 before the tournament has even started. Czech Republic won Group A, Iceland qualified in second, Turkey secured a playoff spot in third, and the Dutch were left out to rot in 4th with just Kazakhstan and Latvia finishing below them. It’s a travesty for Dutch football, and a genuine shame that one of the brightest international teams won’t be lighting up the tournament stage next year. It’s sad to declare, but Holland simply haven’t got the 5 star credentials.
2. Chelsea – 5 Stars
FIFA 16: Chelsea went into 2015/16 as the Champions of England being steered by Jose Mourinho towards an even brighter future. EA justifiably slapped huge ratings on their players and the club as a whole. For starters, they maintained their 5 star status, while Eden Hazard (89), Cesc Fabregas (87), Diego Costa (86) and John Terry (85) among many others were handed generous boosts.
Reality: The Champions League would have been firmly in their sights this season for Chelsea after wrapping up the league last time around. But the dream of focusing on Europe’s top prize is on hold as the club desperately flap around for a top half spot in the Premier League. It’s astonishing to see how far they’ve fallen with the FIFA 16 Coins XBOX ONE, but it’s true, Chelsea are sitting in 15th position with all of their top stars firing blanks, and Jose Mourinho’s job set to be under genuine scrutiny. Watch this space.
1. Juventus – 5 Stars
FIFA 16: Juventus are one of the most attractive teams on the entirety of FIFA 16 with a perfect blend of everything you need to be successful on the game. Paul Pogba is their star man; a marauding midfielder with an 86 rating and a set of skills good enough for any side in the world. Juve have 15 players with an 81 rating or above, demonstrating that they have strength in depth as well as individual star quality.
Reality: Juventus are one of the most disappointing teams in the entirety of world football right now. The Italian giants could make history by winning a fifth consecutive league title if they triumph this season, but as each game passes, their challenge becomes harder as they’ve fallen down to 12th place. This is all just a few months after squaring up against Barcelona in the Champions League Final. An enormous turnaround is needed if they are to salvage their season…and save their stars from moving onto other clubs.