EA Sports are back with FIFA 22, which lands on 1st October. We're sure you're itching to pick up that controller and get going again - but have you thought about who you'll play as when the big (virtual) kick-off rolls around? Here's FFT's rundown of the top sides on the game...
It's not so long ago that Barcelona would have topped this list. Just as the Azulgrana have become a shell of their former selves in real life, though, so they have in the gaming world. No Messi, no party.
Well... While FIFA players will now have to turn to PSG if they want to get the tiniest sense of what it's like to be the great man, all is not lost at Camp Nou (sorry, El Libertador). Barca are in a rare rebuilding phase - which could make for an interesting career mode with the likes of rising stars Pedri and Ansu Fati, and new arrivals Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay.
9. Atletico Madrid
Whether you choose to imitate Diego Simeone's s***house approach or turn the reigning La Liga champions into a breathtakingly expansive side, there's fun to be had here.
Ok, goalkeeping may be the most boring part of FIFA, but in superstar Jan Oblak, Atleti boast the joint-sixth highest-rated player - so you should be able to focus on enjoying yourself with their array of attacking talent. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann are reunited - and Joao Felix is one of the most exciting youngsters on the game.
8. Borussia Dortmund
Two players alone make Borussia Dortmund worthy of inclusion here. In fact, Erling Haaland alone would have been enough justification - the best young striker in the world is so terrifying largely because performs like he's being controlled by someone playing FIFA with the difficulty set to Beginner.
But there's also the small matter of Jude Bellingham: star of the future for England and star of right now for his club. The 18-year-old's extraordinary talent means he won't be sticking around with BVB for much longer - and nor will Haaland, so enjoy having them on the same team while you can.
From one elite number 9 to another: Romelu Lukaku has made FIFA-world Chelsea a hell of a lot more exciting. His rating of 88 feels a touch low, but it still puts him among FIFA 22's finest front men.
N'Golo Kante is the Blues' highest rated player on the game, so bossing the midfield should be a breeze - and Jorginho adds a little bit of excitement to penalty-taking (although that could easily turn into an overwhelming urge to hurl your controller at the nearest wall).
6. Real Madrid
Of the ten highest rated LaLiga players on FIFA 22, five belong to Real. Three of them - Thibaut Courtois, Casemiro and Karim Benzema - make the top five with ratings of 89.
Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane may both have left this summer - representing a significant downgrade at the back - but with Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Eden Hazard also coming in at 85 or above, it's a talent bunch Los Blancos have got. And what fun is defending on this thing, anyway?
The Reds are seriously entertaining to watch - as they reminded us of in their thrilling 3-2 Champions League win over AC Milan - so it follows that they're one of the best sides to pick on FIFA 22.
Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Roberston, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane all rank among the top 20 Premier League players on the latest edition of the game. That sounds like a recipe for some delightful computerised footballing carnage! It's just a shame animated Jurgen Klopp isn't quite as, well, animated on the touchline as actual Jurgen Klopp.
4. Bayern Munich
If you like your FIFA with goals, you don't want to look much further than Bayern - and specifically a certain Robert Lewandowski.
The prolific Pole is already into double figures for the season, having found the back of the net 48 times during the previous campaign - numbers which, aptly, feel like they belong in a video game. In FIFA 22, only Messi is rated higher than Lewa (92) - while Bayern can claim another 90+ star in Manuel Neuer, who's one of the more 'playable' goalkeepers on the game.
3. Manchester United
Sticking Cristiano Ronaldo in any team would instantly enhance your FIFA experience - and his return to the club where he made his name has enhanced their team.
The arguable GOAT isn't alone in making United a tantalising option for FIFA 22 players, though; he's joined by the midfield wizardry of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba, as well as fellow summer arrivals Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane. Of course, some will still make 'Ronaldo-goal' their game plan with the Red Devils - and that's totally understandable.
2. Manchester City
City may 'only' have five players among the Premier League's 20 highest rated on FIFA 22, but they are probably the best team on the planet right now - so, naturally, they're also right up there on planet FIFA.
Marquee summer signing Jack Grealish doesn't quite crack that top 20 - but with the likes of Ruben Dias, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling at your disposal, you shouldn't go too wrong with the Premier League champions when it comes to putting your opponents to the sword.
With the arrival of one Mr Messi - forming the most formidable attacking triumvirate in the game (and on this game) alongside Neymar and FIFA speed king Kylian Mbappe - PSG's summer business was the stuff of fantasy. Gianlugui Donnarumma and Sergio Ramos, among others, also headed to Paris.
But let's be honest, if you could only play as one player on FIFA 22, you'd probably pick Messi - and he retains his GOAT crown with a rating of 93. There's no I in team, but there is in FIFA and there is in Messi - and it would be a waste not to make the most of him while he's still around, wouldn't it?
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