Some footballers on Fifa, despite their apparent low overall rating, just feel lovely to play with don’t they?
Well that’s because while much is made of that big number next to players’ names, under the bonnet there are actually 29 statistics that come together to make a player tick.
The Press Association has created an algorithm which takes into account the 10 most important stats for each position – such as positioning, finishing and dribbling for a striker – and creates a profile for the ideal player for each position.
So, taking into account fan preferences, and ignoring overall ratings, which players are actually the most suited to each position?
This first XI is designed as if money, in-game or otherwise, is no object for gamers buying players. And while it looks rather unsurprising, it also goes some way to indicating how the algorithm works.
Lionel Messi – 94, striker, Barcelona
Neymar – 92, left wing, PSG
Mohamed Salah – 88, right wing, Liverpool
Kevin De Bruyne – 91, attacking midfielder, Manchester City
Luka Modric – 91, central midfielder, Real Madrid
N’Golo Kante – 89, central defensive midfielder, Chelsea
Jordi Alba – 87, left back, Barcelona
Kyle Walker – 84, right back, Manchester City
Sergio Ramos – 91, centre back, Real Madrid
Diego Godin – 90, centre back, Atletico Madrid
David De Gea – 91, goalkeeper, Manchester United
There are a number of right-backs with an overall rating of 84 for example in Fifa 19, but Kyle Walker is the pick of the bunch based on the algorithm.
It is also notable that Cristiano Ronaldo, the highest rated player in Fifa, is missing from this first group, but Messi scores higher on our algorithm in the key attributes for strikers – where both players are positioned.
The next batch of players occupy the mid-price range, with a buy-it-now price of less than 50k Fifa Coins on launch night.
Rodrigo – 84, striker, Valencia
Kingsley Coman – 83, left wing, Bayern Munich
Riyad Mahrez – 85, right wing, Manchester City
Nabil Fekir – 85, attacking midfielder, Lyon
Marek Hamsik – 87, central midfielder, Napoli
Arturo Vidal – 85, central defensive midfielder, Barcelona
Alex Telles – 84, left back, Porto
Antonio Valencia – 82, right back, Manchester United
Kostas Manolas – 85, centre back, Roma
Medhi Benatia – 86, centre back, Juventus
Ederson – 86, goalkeeper, Manchester City
This batch of players recommends the best options for when you’ve got a bit of money to spend but not enough to go for the obvious choices – with each player highly regarded by frequent players of the game.
If you can afford a Riyad Mahrez or Nabil Fekir you can then build a team with good chemistry around them by picking players from the same country, league or even team to play alongside them.
Cedric Bakambu – 82, striker, Beijing Guoan
Goncalo Guedes – 82, left wing, Valencia
Edin Visca – 82, right wing, Basaksehir
Hakim Ziyech – 82, attacking midfielder, Ajax
Kevin Strootman – 82, central midfielder, Marseille
Idrissa Gueye – 82, central defensive midfielder, Everton
Alex Grimaldo – 81, left back, Benfica
Alvaro Odriozola – right back, 80, Real Madrid
Jose Gimenez – 84, centre back, Atletico Madrid
Clement Lenglet – 82, centre back, Barcelona
Timo Horn – 83, goalkeeper, FC Koln
With Fifa 19 just released it is this collection of players that is perhaps the most important: a collection of names you might not recognise, but that could act as a starting point when funds are low.
Names such as Goncalo Guedes and Clement Lenglet stand out should you want to build a La Liga-themed team, or if you wanted to stick to the Premier League why not start with Idrissa Gueye of Everton?