EA Sports has decided to release its FIFA 20 team of the season squads early due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down the major leagues around the world.
Following hot on the heels of the Premier League, LaLiga is the second major league in FIFA 20 to be given the team of the season treatment.
Each year, the ‘Team of the Season’ cards are amongst the most powerful available in the game and EA are not pulling any punches this time around. Lionel Messi’s new card is the first since the game’s launch to carry the maximum 99 rating for three of the six base attributes: Passing, Dribbling and Shooting.
However the maths behind these upgrades is quite complicated as the underlying attributes of each new card follows the shape of the player’s original statistics. For example, Messi’s base card has an overall Shooting rating of 92 but his Shot Power is lower at 86. As the attributes rise proportionally, the Barcelona star’s ‘Team of the Season’ card still has a Shot Power rating of 92 despite having 99 for Shooting overall.
Meanwhile Karim Benzema’s new card has a 98 rating for Shooting but matches or outscores the 99-rated Messi in five of the six underlying stats. Looking at the average of these more detailed numbers, the Real Madrid striker is second only to Eusebio’s ‘Icon Moments’ card for his all-round finishing ability.
While Messi’s 99 Shooting rating masks some minor imperfections, the total of his Passing stats is higher than those of any other player in the game, including Kevin De Bruyne’s monster ‘Team of the Season’ upgrade. His underlying Dribbling stats are almost as impressive and are only bettered by one player – Sergio Aguero fares marginally better in this regard, with better Balance and Reactions making the difference.
In addition to boasting the player with the second-best Shooting statistics in the game, Real Madrid also have the man with the second-highest Defending stats. Sergio Ramos’ new ‘Team of the Season’ card has a higher average rating in this category than the equivalent Virgil Van Dijk one released last week and is only bettered by Paolo Maldini’s ‘Icon Moments’ edition.
Good defensive attributes are obviously important for centre-backs but they are useless if they can not manoeuvre themselves into position. Ramos has better Balance and Agility than Van Dijk and significantly outscores the Dutchman for Acceleration. The Real Madrid captain currently costs less than half as many coins to acquire as the Liverpool defender.
Ramos also relegates Van Dijk to fourth place on the list of players with the best Physicality in the game and the two players ahead of him may come as a surprise.
The first is Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips. His near-perfect Strength, Stamina and Aggression ratings are complemented by impressive numbers across the board, with no score lower than 70 for any of the game’s underlying stats.
The second is one of the cheapest players in the new LaLiga squad. Lucas Ocampos of Sevilla is far from a household name but he cannot be bettered by a single player in the game for Physicality, tying with Phillips for the highest average rating in this category.
His Pace and Dribbling scores are more than respectable, too, making the Argentinian worth a punt for those on a tight budget.