FIFA ratings are always the biggest talking point before the launch of a new entry in the series, with plenty of fans getting involved in heated online debates over which superstars deserve the best ratings in the game.
However, it is a reality of sport that there are going to be winners and losers, and FIFA Ultimate Team is certainly no exception, with downgrades on player’s cards sometimes garnering even more conversation than those with the biggest buffs. So, with the bulk of the best base cards being revealed, here are some of the biggest downgrades in FIFA 22.
Thomas Meunier: -4 (81-77)
Thomas Meunier moved to Borussia Dortmund from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2021 as a free agent, with an 81 rated card in FIFA following four consistent years in France.
However, the Belgian’s debut season in the Bundesliga was marred by disruptions and inconsistencies on both a personal and team front that have seen Meunier drop from 81 to 77 heading into FIFA 22.
Meunier only made 21 appearances in the league for a Dortmund side that ended up shipping 46 goals in the league alone, and the Belgian has seen a real drop in his pace (from 77-73), defending (77-73), and physicality (84-80).
Dani Ceballos: -4 (81-77)
When Dani Ceballos arrived in North London to play for Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid, he arrived with a pedigree as one of Europe’s most gifted midfielders and a FIFA rating of 81 to his name.
Roll forward to FIFA 22, and that rating has dropped noticeably down to 77, with his pace dropping nine points (69-60), passing dropping two (79-77) and his physicality dropping three (70-67). To make matters worse, FIFA have resorted to using an old face placeholder from FIFA 19 as his artwork this year.
Few players at Arsenal have emerged from the past couple of seasons with much credibility, however, Ceballos’ second stint especially with the Gunners has undoubtedly led to one of the most justified-feeling downgrades in FIFA history.
Roman Burki: -4 (84-80)
Like Thomas Meunier, 2020/21 was a hard campaign for Roman Burki at Borussia Dortmund. Arriving at the start of the season as the undisputed number one riding high with an 84 rating. He was one of FIFA’s most go-to goalkeepers in Ultimate Team thanks to his consistently high ratings and relatively cheap price, however, he now comes into FIFA 22 on the back of one of the toughest downgrades to a keeper in the series’ history.
Having only made 19 appearances in the Bundesliga and lost his place to Marwin Hitz, Roman Burki is now Dortmund’s third-choice goalkeeper following the club’s summer acquisition of Gregor Kobel.
The major points losses for Burki this year are in his handling (82-79), positioning (82-77), diving (85-81), and a staggering drop in the Swiss international’s kicking ability (72-60).
Honorable mention: Cristiano Ronaldo
Ever since cards were introduced along with the Ultimate Team game mode in FIFA 09, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been the top dogs in the series. The debate over who the true ‘GOAT’ is may be one of the fiercest in the world of soccer, but the pair have always been guaranteed the best two cards in FIFA’s most played feature.
Until FIFA 22 that is.
Lionel Messi is still the best base player in the game with the sole 93 rating, however, his chief rival over the years has seen his rating drop from 92 down to 91 (the same rating as Kevin De Bruyne, Kylian Mbappe, Jan Oblak, and Neymar, and behind Robert Lewandowski on 92), causing quite a stir around the community.
It’s true Ronaldo’s Juventus were far from impressive in 2020/21, only securing a top-four finish on the final day of the Serie A season, however, Ronaldo was still the club and Serie A top goalscorer with 29 goals in just 33 games.
It might not be the biggest downgrade in terms of the numbers, but it is certainly the one that got the most people talking.