FIFA fans are filling internet message boards with excited messages about what they’re hoping for from the next version of the game.
With that in mind, we scanned the current list of FIFA legends for any glaring omissions, compiling the following list of the people we think are worthy of a place on next year’s game.
We thought we’d take it upon ourselves to make things a bit easier for the team at EA this year. The football and FIFA community could argue for days over whether certain players deserve inclusion in FIFA 17 Ultimate Team, but we’ve put together 10 undisputed legends of the beautiful game yet to receive the treatment that no-one could possibly argue with.
Undoubtedly one of the great keepers in football history, Kahn has an awards résumé to match anyone in the world. He’s won eight Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokals (German league cups), the UEFA Cup, the UEFA Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup. And that’s not to mention his numerous personal accolades, including the only Golden Ball awarded to a goalkeeper, ever, for his performance at the 2002 World Cup. You want to argue with a man whose nicknames include’The Titan’ and ‘The Vol-Kahn-o’? Be our guest.
Without question one of the best defenders of his generation, Puyol was the anchor for a Barcelona side that won countless honours, including six La Liga trophies and three Champions Leagues. He also racked up 100 caps for Spain, and was an important leader for the squad that won Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.
His indomitable style commanded respect from team-mates and adversaries alike, and although players like Ronaldinho, Messi, Iniesta and Xavi regularly took the plaudits, Puyol was ever-present, and as important as any of them to Barcelona’s success. We reckon there’s a good chance he’ll appear in FIFA 17 Ultimate Team, and hopefully with a rating around the 90 mark.
Recently retired Ferdinand is one of the more likely inclusions on this list, and whilst he’s probably not in quite the same class as someone like Carles Puyol, it’s easy to forget how good Ferdinand was in his prime.
Ferdinand was a Rolls-Royce of a centre half, with incredibly composure, near-perfect positioning and a fantastic instinct for the game. The art of the ball-playing centre back is lost these days, but Ferdinand was comfortable bringing the ball out into midfield, and picking out a great pass to set United into attack mode.
He won’t be quite as highly-rated as Puyol if they both make it in, but we’d happily have Rio in the middle of our back four.
Players like Marcelo and Dani Alves, who play the attacking full back role so well for their clubs, simply wouldn’t exist had Cafu not created that mould. He was the first to make the full back position dynamic, and his multi-faceted game included power, pace, stamina and intelligence that no-one could consistently contend with.
Not only is he one of the greatest full backs ever to lace a pair of boots, but like Cruyff, he changed the game, and outside of his many trophies and personal honours, that should earn him a deserved place as a FIFA Ultimate Team legend.
We’re 100 percent sure that if Beckham was even a possibility for inclusion in FIFA Ultimate Team, it would have been done already, but you can’t fault us for asking. No doubt there’s an astronomical price tag attached to any Beckham licenses, but he certainly deserves a place in any legends conversation and his record speaks for itself.
He’s won league titles in four different countries – including six Premier League titles – alongside numerous other awards. And of course, he’s still one of the greatest free kick takers of all time. Who wouldn’t want Beckham in their FUT team?
‘Zizou’ is beloved all over the world for his immense technical ability and elegance – when not headbutting people, at any rate – and when it comes to the players who made the beautiful game truly beautiful, Zinedine Zidane is right at the top of the list.
Like Cruyff and Maradona, Zidane had a mesmerising quality to his game, almost as though he floated with the ball, but what makes him truly special to us is his vision and team mentality. Zidane was capable of beating half a team with tricky footwork and feints, and he did so regularly, but often it was only to create a chance for a team-mate. His vision and passing were second to none, and the idea of having Zidane in our midfield has us a little giddy.
Now, we suspect there are reasons why Maradona hasn’t already been included in FIFA Ultimate Team, and those reasons are likely to keep him out again, but we’d love to see the little Argentinian grace a pitch once more. Not only would it reignite the age old discussion over who is the greatest footballer of all time (although we expect EA would keep Pele as the highest rated player, after all, he’s in their adverts), but the chance to have Pele, Maradona and Messi in the same team is just too good to pass up. Plus, you could turn handballs off for the complete Maradona experience.
One of the greatest strikers of all time, Raúl’s incredible career is only made more impressive by the fact that it took place at Real Madrid – arguably the most prestigious football club in the world. Raúl is the most capped played in Real Madrid history, scoring 323 goals in 741 appearances for Los Meringues, and won six La Liga titles, three UEFA Champions Leagues, and a mountain of other trophies. Oh, and he’s the only player ever to win UEFA’s Forward of the Year award three years in a row, from 2000 to 2002. Raúl is surely a lock for a legends spot in FIFA 17.
Henry was considered a flop by many when he first moved from Juventus to Arsenal in 1999, but under the expert tutelage of Arsène Wenger, the young Frenchman grew to become one of the best forwards in the world. He scored 174 goals in 254 games for Arsenal, and lead the club to a famous unbeaten season, as well as multiple national trophies.
His storied career led him to Barcelona afterwards, and he retired having won league titles in three different countries, alongside a multitude of personal honours. Henry may not have quite the pedigree of the likes of Cruyff and Ronaldo, but in his prime, he was one of the deadliest strikers the game has ever seen.
Although Cristiano will surely be a FIFA Ultimate Team legend when he retires, we’re talking a different Ronaldo. The original Ronaldo. Take 10 minutes on YouTube to remind yourself of what ‘Il Fenomeno’ was capable of in his prime, and there’s no question he should be in Ultimate Team.
One of the greatest strikers of all time, Ronaldo is a three-time FIFA World Player of the Year, two-time Ballon d’Or recipient, and won a mountain of honours at some of the biggest clubs in the world. And he won the Golden Boot at the 2002 World Cup. Get him in already, EA.