FIFA 23 will hit shelves worldwide on September 30, 2022.
The annual release of EA Sports’ tentpole video game is always met with a great deal of anticipation, and that can be said of both avid gamers themselves as well as general football fans.
That’s because the FIFA series holds a unique standing in the pantheon of video games by way of passing commentary on the real world of football as opposed to just the digital copy displayed within its product.
The phenomena has amassed so much interest over the last decade that seldom does a game release go by without videos of the players themselves reacting to their new ratings going viral.
Those fiddly little numbers out of 100 might be viewed as arbitrary to some, but they have taken on a wider cultural significance that means the comparisons you can make from them really carry weight in the footballing world.
That, in turn, leads to a situation where FIFA’s player ratings essentially stand as one of the biggest objective rankings of footballers to be produced each year.
FIFA player ratings
The highly popular Ultimate Team game mode means that the real-world professional players within each edition have to be awarded a rating out of 100 based on how good they’re deemed to be.
Who will get a downgrade in FIFA 23?
So, as everyone here at URBANNEWSGH hotly anticipates the release of FIFA 23, we couldn’t help putting our tinfoil hats on and imagining what player rating changes could be in store for the new game.
We’ve already predicted the top-rated players in competitions such as the Premier League and La Liga, but now we’re forecasting which stars could be in for an unfortunate surprise when they boot up their copy of the game this year.
That’s because we’ve compiled 10 players who we think will see a decline in their base player rating compared to the number that they were first awarded when FIFA 22 hit stores a year ago.
Please note that the decisions are based on absolutely nothing more than the opinion of your humble writer – no leaks here, folks – so be sure to let us know your own thoughts, too, across our various social channels.
But without further ado, here are just some of the players that we think can expect a downgrade in FIFA 23:
1. Neymar: 91 to 89
Talent and ability in abundance, but Neymar has been on the slide at Paris Saint-Germain for some time now, seeing his goalscoring tally decline each and every season in France until a new nadir of just 14 strikes last time out.
2. Harry Maguire: 84 to 82
Let’s get this one over with quickly because Maguire himself, as well as everyone in football, is well aware that he was poor during the 2021/22 season.
3. Romelu Lukaku: 88 to 87
Look, Lukaku is still one of the best strikers in the world, so we don’t want to castigate him for one lukewarm season in which he still finished as Chelsea‘s top scorer, but a marginal downgrade is still in order.
4. Nicolas Pepe: 81 to 79
It gets more and more confounding with each year as to why Arsenal broke their transfer record for Pepe’s services. He reached a new low of just three goals and 23 appearances for the Gunners last season.
5. Kasper Schmeichel: 85 to 84
Leicester City’s number one did pull things back near the end of last season, but the cracks did start to show with a few sloppy errors leading us to think that a minimal downgrade is the best course of action.
6. Lionel Messi: 93 to 92
‘Blasphemy!’ we hear you cry. Yes, yes, yes, we know Messi wasn’t as bad as advertised during his first season at PSG, but the time is nevertheless nigh for a new king of the hill in FIFA on the back of his measly 11-goal return.
7. Marcel Sabitzer: 84 to 83
It’s hard to look at Sabitzer’s first year at Bayern Munich as anything but an unmitigated disaster, failing to nail down a steady role in the team as he amassed just two goal contributions.
8. N’Golo Kante: 90 to 89
Kante was always going to struggle to match the Ballon d’Or-contending form that he displayed in 2020/21, but his inconsistent performances last season were disappointing nevertheless.
9. Marcus Rashford: 85 to 83
Just five goals from 32 outings last season having surpassed the 20-strike mark in the past two campaigns means that Rashford, regretfully, was one of the first names on our downgrade list.
10. Luis Suarez: 88 to 85
Are the days of Suarez causing carnage at the highest level of European football numbered? After a quiet second season with Atletico, there’s perhaps reason to think so as he searches around for a new club.