EA SPORTS™ FIFA 14, the latest installment in the top-selling video game series, hits the shelves worldwide today. The award winning franchise is now in its 21st year and whilst a host of new game play features have sent excitement levels soaring amongst gamers, it's the latest update of the player ratings that will set tongues wagging within the football fraternity.
The player ratings are a source of hot debate amongst gamers and professional footballers with the likes of Rio Ferdinand taking to twitter in the past to voice his displeasure at diminishing pace stats. So, to fuel the discussion, EA SPORTS has exclusively revealed the best players in the new game based on a variety of attributes listed in FIFA Ultimate Team.
With FIFA 14 offering improved “pure shot” technology, scoring goals will feel more rewarding than ever before. For gamers looking to take advantage of this, Manchester United have three of the Premier League’s top five finishers. New Spurs signing Roberto Soldado jumps straight into third place among the Premier League’s strikers, while Sergio Aguero represents the blue half of Manchester in second place:
Best finishers in the Premier League:
1 Manchester United van Persie, Robin
2 Manchester City Agüero, Sergio
3 Tottenham Hotspur Soldado Rillo, Roberto
4 Manchester United Hernández, Javier
5 Manchester United Rooney, Wayne
Gamers will benefit from new sprint dribble turns in the game this year, with players able to utilise quick, explosive cuts and turns to beat defenders one-on-one with the ball. That makes speed an even more powerful weapon in the game. Arsenal are the only team to have two players in the Premier League’s top five fastest players, with Ryo Miyaichi a hidden gem of pace. Meanwhile, Serie A contributes two players to the list of the world’s fastest, and Mathis Bolly of the Bundesliga’s second tier is the only player not playing in their country’s top division to make the top 5 globally in any of the criteria released by EA SPORTS.
Fastest players in the Premier League:
1 Arsenal Walcott, Theo
2 Arsenal Miyaichi, Ryo
3 Newcastle United Rémy, Loïc
4 Tottenham Hotspur Walker, Kyle
5 Aston Villa Agbonlahor, Gabriel
Fastest players in the world:
1 Parma Biabiany, Jonathan
2 Fortuna Düsseldorf Bolly, Mathis
3 Arsenal Walcott, Theo
4 Borussia Dortmund Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick
5 Cagliari Ibarbo, Víctor
Top 5 passers in the world:
1 FC Barcelona Hernández Creus, Xavier
2 FC Barcelona Iniesta Luján, Andrés
3 FC Barcelona Fàbregas i Soler, Francesc
4 Juventus Pirlo, Andrea
5 Real Madrid Modrić, Luka
Top 5 dribblers in the world:
1 FC Barcelona Messi, Lionel
2 Bayern München Ribéry, Franck
3 Bayern München Robben, Arjen
4 FC Barcelona da Silva Santos Júnior, Neymar
5 FC Barcelona Iniesta Luján, Andrés
At the other end of the virtual pitch, defending has been transformed in FIFA 14 with second chance tackles giving defenders the chance to recover from missed tackles. Rio Ferdinand may have questioned EA SPORTS on his stats previously, but he can’t have any complaints as he remains in the Premier League’s top 5 defenders. Ferdinand is ranked fifth, with his team mate Nemanja Vidic the Premier League’s top defender.
Top 5 defenders in the Premier League:
1 Manchester United Vidić, Nemanja
2 Manchester City Kompany, Vincent
3 Chelsea Cole, Ashley
4 Everton Baines, Leighton
5 Manchester United Ferdinand, Rio
When looking for the best headers of the ball in FIFA 14, the Swiss Super League may not be your first port of call. However, FC Sion’s Vilmos Vanczak has the best heading stats in the game, making him an astute target for FIFA Ultimate Team managers looking for a bargain centre back. Closer to home, the Premier League is home to two of the top 5 headers of the ball in the game, with Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker ranked second, above Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic in fourth.
Top 5 headers in the world:
1 FC Sion Vanczák, Vilmos
2 Arsenal Mertesacker, Per
3 Bayern München van Buyten, Daniel
4 Manchester United Vidić, Nemanja
5 Borussia Dortmund Hummels, Mats
With even more new skill moves, and performing them simplified to using the right stick, EA SPORTS FIFA 14 is all about using your skills to beat defenders. FIFA Ultimate Team players often look for five star skill move players in unusual places, and there are just four to be found in the Premier League. While Nani at Manchester United may not surprise many, and Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa and Adel Taraabt are also known for their skills, Stoke’s on-loan Morrocan winger Oussama Assaidi is an unknown quantity to many and the fourth player in the Premier League to be rated five stars for skill moves.
1 Manchester United Nani
2 Newcastle United Hatem Ben Arfa
3 Fulham Adel Taraabt
4 Stoke City Oussama Assaidi
FIFA 14 by EA Sports is available now.