Poor Gareth Bale. Not only does he have to contend with annoying recurring injuries and the nagging sense that Real Madrid's going to sell him sooner rather than later, but he's now found himself relegated from FIFA's top 10 rated players list.
Each year, ahead of the release of the latest FIFA game, EA Sports announces the top 100 rated players in the game. (It's a big deal for fans who pump hundreds of hours into FIFA Ultimate Team.)
So, we come to the top 10 rated players for FIFA 18 and Gareth Bale. Bale, who in FIFA 17 was number six with an overall rating of 90, finds himself down to 17th with a rating of 89 in FIFA 18.
Now, Bale is obviously still an awesome player in the game, and he's only suffered a single point loss overall, but that's resulted in a steep drop of 11 places in the list. Such is the brutal, unforgiving life of a FIFA Ultimate Team character.
Here's EA's official blurb for Bale:
"One of (if not the) best Welshmen to ever step onto the pitch, Bale's 94 Pace makes him also one of the fastest players in the world. But the winger is more than just pure speed; 86 Dribbling and 87 Shooting give him the skills to cut inside and accurately take shots on goal, and an 84 Passing shows him to be a top crosser."
Elsewhere, injured striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was seventh in FIFA 17, is down to 30th place in FIFA 18. That's not a surprise. The ageing superstar suffered a damaging injury earlier this year that left him without a club before he signed a deal to return to Man Utd.
Cristiano Ronaldo is once again top of the tree. In fact the game's top five players remains unchanged from last year's game.
Ronaldo, who won the Spanish league title and the Champions League with Real Madrid last season, enjoys a 94 overall player rating in this year's FIFA.
That's one point ahead of long-standing rival Lionel Messi, who is second with a rating of 93.
Here's the official blurb on Ronaldo, from EA Sports:
"There are few things that Ronaldo cannot do on a pitch, and few attacking positions in which he won't excel. His 93 Shooting is evidenced by the unreal number of goals he's scored in the past few seasons, and Ronaldo's 90 Pace and 90 Dribbling make him virtually untouchable when in top form. Sometimes deployed as a forward, Ronaldo can dance into the box and dispatch the ball into the net without skipping a beat. He is probably at his best on the left wing, where he can create chances for teammates, or as he does more often, cut inside and lash the ball past a helpless goalkeeper."
After Messi come three 92-rated players: PSG's Ł200m forward Neymar, Barcelona's Luis Suarez and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
How well's the Premier League represented? FIFA 17 had two Premier League players in the top 10: Ibrahimovic and Man Utd keeper David de Gea. The Premier League's only representative in the FIFA 18 top 10 is Chelsea wizard Eden Hazard. No English players feature in the top 10, which comes as no surprise given the state of the national team right now. The highest rated English player in FIFA 18 is Harry Kane, who's in 53rd place with an 86 overall. The only other English player to feature in the FIFA 18 top 100 is Kane's Spurs teammate Dele Alli, who sneaks into the top 100 with an 84 rating.
Here's the top 10 in full:
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Lionel Messi
- Luis Suarez
- Manuel Neuer
- Robert Lewandowski
- Sergio Ramos
- Eden Hazard
- Toni Kroos
- Gonzalo Higuain
The FIFA 18 demo goes live today, so you don't have to wait long to take these players out for a spin.