As usual, another international tournament has made us realise there’s a larger footballing world out there full of talent that we underrated or hadn’t even heard of. Obviously there are players we’d love to include from the Euro 2016 championships, but can’t, like some of Iceland’s semi-pro heroes, or Portugal’s Renato Sanches – who doesn’t have a FUT card, but will almost certainly have a highly rated one in FIFA 17.
There are some international players who performed so well they’ll have to be given a higher rating, because they were the stars of the show. We can’t wait to slot them into our team in FIFA. Let’s go through our starting line-up.
Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales, Unsigned)
Forget for a moment that Robson-Kanu currently has no club team because his stats will need a major boost, ASAP. FIFA 16 has him rated at 66, which makes him a silver player. The most egregious of those stats, however, is his physical one at 70.
Sure, Wales fans will remember him forever for the Cruyff Turn against Belgium, but he held the ball up in a manner that reminds us of how Kevin Davies did for Bolton Wanderers, barging defenders off the ball and strong-arming them away. Hal has shown he’s a menace up front, never giving a defender a moment to rest, and we’re sure he won’t be without a club when FIFA 17 comes out.
Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland & Cardiff City)
It may seem obvious to include Icelandic players in this list, but not all of them are as unknown as you might think. Another silver rated player (at 68), Gunnarsson is a combative midfielder who runs his socks off in every game – a tireless player with a huge throw in, yet his stats in FIFA suggest a run of the mill, average player. He absolutely taught the English midfielders a lesson about endurance and effort though, and for that alone he needs a major bump.
Ondrej Duda (Poland & Legia Warsaw)
At the fledgling age of 21, Duda’s record in Poland suggest he should already be rated higher than the 71 that FIFA 16 has him pegged at. A playmaker with 16 goals for Legia Warsaw, he scored against Wales and even played out of position up front against Russia. Time will tell if he can become a truly great player (and he has time on his side, remember), but for now he needs bumping from a 71 rated silver card, that’s for sure.
Dimitri Payet (France & West Ham)
Having had a phenomenal season for his West Ham in the premier league season, Dimitri Payet turned up for his first tournament with his international team and immediately made a huge impact. He’s a player that makes you hold your breath when he’s on the ball, yet somehow has a shooting rating of 76, and a physical rating of 68. Yes, the man who keeps banging in these beautiful goals from outside the box and looks like an earthquake wouldn’t shake him off the ball has those ratings. Due an upgrade? You better believe it.
Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland & Norwich City)
Scoring a headed goal against Italy to help your national team qualify out of the group stages cannot be understated, but it’s Brady’s resolute defensive abilities to keep out teams containing players that, by rights, should be way better than him, that truly make him stand out. A 65 rated silver player, with 51 defense and 61 physical, there’s no question Brady needs an upgrade, and fast.
N’Golo Kante (France & Leicester City)
Somehow, one of the best performers in the Premier League last season is rated only 76. Kante is a player who goes about his business quietly, but is so incredibly important to his team. His physicality, passing, and pace are all underrated and need bumping up for FIFA 17, and while his national colleagues like Paul Pogba are rated a full 10 points higher than him overall, he’s absolutely essential in any team. His rating must be changed.
Ragnar Sigurdsson (Iceland & FC Krasnodar)
Another Iceland player, then, and one that’s had his name called out multiple times due to his last ditch tackling skills. When the underdog performs so well it’s hard to single out individuals, but his stats belie the qualities he has shown this summer – so much so that even at the age of 30, his club has set his transfer value at ￡4 million. Managing to defend so resolutely is enough alone to require his stat upgrade, but he even manages to score now and again.
Piotr Zielinski (Poland & Udinese)
Rated only 71 in FIFA Ultimate Team, it seems it’s not just us that thought highly of Zielinski, as Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp is apparently very interested in signing the 22-year-old. A player that can play in almost any of the midfield positions, yet has fairly low stats in every area that counts (69 pace, 65 shooting, 70 passing, 50 physical), it seems that this is a player who is on the rise, and his FIFA card will need to match it.