This is one of the funnest times of the year for a football fan because it gives us a chance to rate players and, more importantly, disagree with how other people have rated them. So let’s go through the FIFA 18 grades for the Fiorentina squad and figure out which ones are good, which ones are wrong, and which ones are just plain weird.
So, we’re going to hit the highlights of each player’s rating, then give you our grade of that rating; this seems like an appropriately meta way to run this review. As a note, we haven’t gotten a look at where everyone’s potential ends up, so that could completely alter a bunch of these grades, too.
We’ll start with some weirdness. EA still hasn’t released complete goalkeeper grades, and the Fiorentina custodians apparently don’t rate highly enough to be on the shortlist of goalies who’ve had their grades published. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
Davide Astori—81: According to EA, the club captain is also its most talented player. His Interceptions (86), Standing Tackle (85), Marking (85), Sliding Tackle (80), Reactions (80), Strength (80), and Jumping (80) are the highlights. He’s also got decent Sprint Speed (69) and Acceleration (66) for a central defender. We might quibble about his low Attacking Workrate, his Short and Long Passing (both 68), and his dribbling (56); after all, Astorinho has already made a few appearances this year. Overall, though, this seems like a pretty fair ranking. VN Grade: A-
Germán Pezzella—78: The overall ranking seems low. 84 Jumping and 83 Heading are about right, but his performances thus far this season are pretty clear demonstrations that 79 Interceptions, 77 Standing Tackle, and 76 Sliding Tackle are underselling his abilities; for crying out loud, he just bottled up Paulo Dybala. The real issue, though, is his pace. A 47 in Sprint Speed and Acceleration is kind of absurd, and we think it should be a fair bit higher. VN Grade: C-
Vitor Hugo—77: Honestly, this seems a bit high, especially in comparison to Pezzella. Hugo’s 83 Heading, 82 Sliding Tackle, 80 Marking, 79 in both Strength and Jumping, 78 Standing Tackle, and 76 in Interceptions. His 70 Sprint Speed and 66 Acceleration seem about right, at least. Perhaps I’m being too harsh on a player who hadn’t settled into Serie A quickly, but I just don’t see it. VN Grade: C+
Nikola Milenković—70: This seems pretty spot on. High marks for Strength (90) and Aggression (84); middling in Heading (75), Standing Tackle (74), and Marking (71); rather low in Sliding Tackle (63), Sprint Speed (50), and Acceleration (47). I’d argue that his Interceptions should be higher than 62, but I haven’t seen enough of him to die on that hill. VN Grade: B+
Bruno Gaspar—77: Let’s do the good stuff first. His 85 Sprint Speed, 85 Stamina, 84 Agility, 82 Acceleration, 80 Reactions, and 78 Dribbling are probably about right. A high Attacking Workrate is spot on. 73 in Crossing and 72 in Short Passing are probably a bit low. Now for the bad stuff. 80 Jumping, 76 Sliding Tackle, 74 Standing Tackle, 72 Marking, and 71 Interceptions are all way too high. As much as it pains me to admit it, this grade is pretty inflated. VN Grade: C+
Vincent Laurini—73: While the recency bias makes me think this is too low, Laurini’s career up to this point indicates that EA is more or less on point here. 82 in Acceleration and Agility, 81 in Stamina, 79 in Jumping, and 77 in Sprint Speed indicate a good athlete, which checks out. His 74 in Standing and Sliding Tackle is believable, as is 72 in Interceptions. We could argue that his Strength (65), Marking (70), and Crossing (66) seem low, but they’re not outrageous by any means. VN Grade: B+
Cristiano Biraghi—72: Free Kick Accuracy of 50. Standing Tackle of 70. Reactions of 61. Agility of 73. Standing Tackle of 70. Sliding Tackle of 71. Yeah, it’s fair to say that EA doesn’t respect Biraghi much. All 6 of those categories are way too low. On the plus side, at least they gave him 82 Acceleration and 81 Sprint Speed. 77 in Interceptions and 75 in Marking are also close. But yeah, he’s already proven that he’s a lot better than he’s gotten credit for here. VN Grade: C-
Maximiliano Olivera—70: I know a lot of folks here aren’t Maxi fans, but c’mon. This is too much. 70 Sprint Speed, 72 Acceleration, 66 Marking, 72 in both Tackle categories, 65 in Interceptions, 64 in Aggression. I’m not saying Olivera’s a star, but he’s clearly an okay Serie A leftback. I mean, Massimo Gobbi (whom I love) is rated 73. No way is Olivera that much worse. VN Grade: C-
Marco Benassi—79: As we’ve discussed, it’s really hard to get a read on Benassi due to his uncomfortable role in Stefano Pioli’s system. He is rated 76 when you use him as an attacking midfielder, which seems awfully incorrect, so that’s a shortcoming at least. Honestly, though, I’m not sure where to go with this one until we see him operate in midfield. VN Grade: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Milan Badelj—78: EA just about nailed this one perfectly. 82 in Short and Long Passing; 80 in Interceptions, Ball Control, and Stamina; 78 in Reactions and Standing Tackle; and a Sprint Speed of 60 along with an Acceleration of 58 are certainly our Badelj. Honestly, a 78 in Vision and 72 in both Long Shots and Shot Power are probably a bit high, but overall, this is a near-flawless snapshot of the player. VN Grade: A
Jordan Veretout—77: With just a 74 in Shot Power and 73 in Free Kick, we’d be a bit miffed. 79 in Short Passing, 76 in Long Passing, and 75 in Vision have us irritated. 75 in Dribbling and 68 in Positioning have us apoplectic. The physical and defensive qualities of his game are about right, but the game has badly underestimated his skill on the ball; expect some upgrades throughout the season. VN Grade: C
Carlos Sánchez—77: I love la Roca, but this is too high a rating. 68 Sprint Speed, 65 Acceleration, and 76 Long Passing, 78 Interceptions, and 79 Standing Tackle are all pretty up there. On the other hand, 87 Strength is probably underselling him. Also, his height on EA’s official site is listed as “182 cm/5’0”” which doesn’t seem quite right. VN Grade: B
Sebastian Cristoforo—76: Another case of EA badly overselling a player. He hasn’t exhibited 80 Interceptions or Standing Tackle, and his Passing (76 Short and 78 Long) is way, way too much. The only thing I’d increase is his aggression rating of 80; Seba’s not afraid to mix it up, at least. VN Grade: C+
Riccardo Saponara—79: Pretty close for the Cheese. 85 Ball Control, 83 Dribbling and Vision, 82 Short Passing, and 78 Positioning are close. For my money, his Sprint Speed (78) and Acceleration (71) should be flipped. I’d also ramp up his 64 Finishing, as he’s shown himself to be pretty accurate in the box. His shooting (66 Long Shots and 72 Shot Power) and physical ratings (Stamina 72, Strength 69, Jumping 64) are also about right. All in all, though, EA did fairly well here, although without seeing his Injury rating, it’s hard to be sure. VN Grade: B
Valentin Eysseric—78: His 72 Sprint Speed, 72 Acceleration, and 66 Stamina sure seem low. About the 79 in Dribbling, Ball Control, Short Passing, Vision, and Long Shots; 78 in Shot Power, Free Kicks, Long Passing, and Positioning; the 77 in Finishing; and the 76 in Curve and Agility, we won’t argue. They may be a bit high, but not by a whole lot. VN Grade: B-
Gil Dias—76: This dude is basically a FIFA cheat code. 86 Sprint Speed, 83 Acceleration and Dribbling, 80 Ball Control, 75 Reactions and Stamina. He’s also got a high Attacking Work Rate. His shooting isn’t very good—72 for Power, 70 for Long Shots, 66 for Finishing—and his passing is also lackluster—70 Short Passing and 58 Long Passing. Anyways, as fun as he’ll be to use in-game, there’s no way he’s better than Chiesa. Apparently Jorge Mendes’ influence extends to video games, too. VN Grade: C+
Federico Chiesa—75: This seems weirdly low for a player who’s one of the crown jewels of Serie A. However, a lot of it’s pretty good. 85 Agility, 82 Acceleration, 81 Sprint Speed, and 76 Stamina are pretty accurate. 76 Shot Power, 74 Positioning, and 74 Short Passing are also pretty good. 80 in both Dribbling and Ball Control, though, is underwhelming, and 66 in Crossing and Long Shots, well, bleh. He’s another who’s almost certain to get some improvements loaded as the season progresses, but EA definitely messed up in making Fabio Borini a better player. VN Grade: B-
Rafik Zekhnini—67: 90 Sprint. 89 Acceleration. 83 Agility. And that’s about it. From what we’ve seen, that’s pretty accurate for now. We’d like to get a look at his potential, though. VN Grade: A-
Ianis Hagi—63: Seriously? 63 Agility? 59 Vision? 58 Short Passing? I know we’ve only seen him with the Primavera or in preseason friendlies, but he’s looked a whole heck of a lot better than what’s here. I’m calling shenanigans. VN Grade: D
Cyril Théréau—77: Here he is, folks. The best Fiorentina striker of the year. To begin, I find it hard to believe that a dude who scored 12 goals in 2500 minutes last year (that’s a goal every 208 minutes) deserves 81 Finishing. Having watched him flail on the wing for the Viola, too, 77 Sprint Speed and 79 Dribbling seem, er, generous. Ditto for 79 Vision. Basically, every stat on him is way too high. Maybe I’m missing something. VN Grade: C-
Giovanni Simeone—76: Highlighted by his 82 Jumping, 79 in Positioning and Sprint Speed, and 78 in Finishing, Cholito seems about right. I think his Stamina of 74 and his Strength of 70 should come up a bit, while his Dribbling of 76 is probably too much. All in all, though, I think that EA got him just about right in a vacuum. When the game claims that he’s at the exact same level as, say, Alessandro Matri, though, I get a little bit riled up. VN Grade: A-
Khouma Babacar—76: Overall, this seems like a pretty good rating for a guy who’s been outrageously productive over the past 12 months. However, while the overall is good, there are definitely some problems elsewhere. For starters, the Babacar Named Desire probably doesn’t deserve a 77 Positioning, considering that his lackluster off-ball movement is pretty much all that’s keeping him from being a genuinely world-class striker. However, 79 Finishing is low for a guy who scored as much on a per-minute basis as stars like Mauro Icardi. He’s also quicker on his feet than he gets credit for here, with just 71 Agility and 72 Dribbling. 80 Strength feels lacking as well. VN Grade: B-
So what do you think? Is EA way off base? Or am I just out here raving as usual? These aren’t mutually exclusive, mind you. Anyways, let us know what you think.