The time for the EA Sports FC 24 ratings is nearly here. The annual ceremony is always greeted with excitement, jubilation, and often disappointment among players and fans alike. One of the great debates of this generation is often sparked at the same time. Who is better, Lionel Messi, or Cristiano Ronaldo?
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are undeniably two of the greatest football players to have ever lived. The standard to which we hold them is far greater than any other player who has played during their reign of supremacy. The sheer fact that they are in such fierce competition is a testament to the other, as no other mere mortals could even come close.
To sit on the fence in this great debate is often met with derision. Fans of both players are partisan-like in the staunch defence of their hero. You must decide your allegiance. In years gone by there have been arguments for both great men, but in EA Sports FC 24, the debate appears to be well and truly over.
As we have come to expect, leaks have begun to appear across social media. Among the leaks are the suggested ratings for both Messi and Ronaldo, and it doesn’t look good for the Portugal star. Not only is his rival now well ahead in the ratings, but his own individual rating has taken a beating since the beginning of FIFA 23.
Per the leaks, Al Nassr forward Ronaldo will receive an 86 overall in FC 24. This is a whole -4 lower than last season. Messi has received a downgrade too, but this is slight in comparison. Dropping down to a 90 from his 91 OVR in FIFA 23, Messi’s transition into retirements appears to be going much smoother.
Messi won the World Cup last season. He is the epitome of the beautiful game. In an era of incredible athleticism, nutrition, and technology, how is it that a 5’7” Argentinian remains untouchable? His powers may be waning, but for anyone who watches Messi grace a football pitch, it remains a joy to behold.
Is this enormous ratings gap right call though? At the risk of provoking our fans from across the pond, is the MLS a better competition than the Saudi Pro League? While Messi has set the MLS alight, he is supported by his former Barcelona teammates Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets. This appears to be wildly unfair on the other teams whose marquee signings are, how to put this delicately, not in the same league.
In contrast, Ronaldo has paved the way for the likes of Sadio Mane, Neymar, and Karim Benzema to create a sort of strange hybrid super league. His on-field success is clear to see too. No one expected him to struggle, but a goal per game in the league is still an excellent return for the 38-year-old.
In reality, the successes of both men at this stage of their careers are pretty irrelevant. One thing Messi has in his favour, other than the World Cup trophy, is his timing. Messi left Europe having scored 16 goals in Ligue 1. Compare that to the meagre one goal CR7 had before his unruly departure from Man Utd, and there is a clear difference.
This is by no means an admission that one is better than the other though. More that one player chose a time to leave while still among Europe’s elite. Just months earlier, Ronaldo had finished a Premier League season having scored 18 goals in a United team that was average at best. Leaving at that stage may have avoided the bitter taste that followed.
If we take Ronaldo’s 90 OVR in FIFA 23 following that successful personal season, then Messi’s alleged 90 rating in FC 24 is perfectly justified. The question I would then pose is, what do these players need to do to maintain their lofty ratings despite playing outside of Europe’s major leagues? If that is the treatment for one of the all time greats, what’s in store for Neymar, Benzema, Mane, Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante, and the rest?
Will there be another rivalry like this? Probably not. But while I go back to sit on the fence in this particular debate I’ll leave you with this, Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe?