A new football season means a new FIFA, and 2023 is all set to be a special year for EA Sports’ signature product.
FIFA 23 brings about the swan song for the series as we know it, due to the expiration of their deal with the titular organization from next year on the game will be known as ‘EA Sports FC’.
And as such, expectations from what will likely be the final instalment of an iconic franchise have been high.
EA lifted the lid on some of the major changes players can expect when they boot up the game, such as revamped menus, reworked career mode, changes to set-pieces and a glimpse of ‘Hypermotion 2’ in action, which is a buzzword very few fall for.
Nevertheless, the most exciting of announcements, player ratings, came some time after the official reveal.
When the rating land each year, Football Twitter is usually in disarray.
While most fans are busy lamenting EA’s atrocious rating system, others sink their teeth deep into the catalogue in search of cheap gems that’ll work like a charm in Ultimate Team.
For the uninitiated, the importance of the pace stat in the game cannot be understated.
Strong shooting, 5-star skill moves, and high passing can all take you far, but in the end, pace matters most, especially when it comes to multiplayer matches.
And as such, fans online unearthed the biggest discoveries related to the stat, from disappointing decreases to surprising surges, we bring you the highlights.
Aside from Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez is another of Manchester City‘s recruits that has impressed quite a bit.
Formerly of River Plate, the Argentine has already had bright displays in City’s Sky Blue and has already netted twice for his new side.
Bringing excellent versatility, alongside a clinical finishing repertoire, fans are already labelling him as an ‘Aguero Regen’.
In line with the lofty comparisons, Alvarez also has the pace to match, a notion which FIFA seem to disagree with.
In FIFA 22, Alvarez had a pace stat of 84 alongside a base rating of 75.
This year, the Argentine has been handed an overall upgrade to 78, but his pace stat has gone to 76, the reasoning behind which is obscure.
Could be a case of re-evaluation, although fans online are waging their bets on EA bring clueless.
In sharp contrast is the case of Espanyol’s Sergi Darder.
The Spaniard has undergone an incredible rise in pace, starting from a miserly 44 in FIFA 21, to a startling 82 in the upcoming 23.
Fans were perplexed as to how such drastic changes were even possible, with some suggesting that the midfielder has been spending time on the track under the tutelage of Usain Bolt.
Speaking of speedsters, we move on to Jeremiah St Juste, a name spoken with reverence by the FIFA community.
The Dutch centre-back has an absolute beast of a card, with 76 and 74 as defence and dribbling stats respectively.
These alone are already impressive for a centre-back, and piled on top is an insane 93 for pace, making him an absolute must-buy.
St Juste paired alongside another fan-favourite in Maxence Lacroix is a combination you’ll likely see for weeks on Ultimate Team, so prepare accordingly.
Moving on to the final and most jarring surprise of them all, we have the Manchester United duo of Harry Maguire and David De Gea.
The Spanish Keeper has received an impressive upgrade, with his rating jumping from 84 to 87.
Conversely, Harry Maguire undergoes a predictable drop from 84 to 81, and his new card screams SBC fodder.
This is reflected through his atrocious pace rating of 48, which makes the Englishman virtually unusable in the game.
Even De Gea eclipses Maguire in terms of pace, as his relevant pace stat ‘Speed’ sits at 51.