Lionel Messi has called it a day on an incredible career in which he won the Ballon d’Or and FIFA Ballon d’Or five times. Over the years, he has helped guide Barcelona to La Liga, Champions League, and Copa del Rey success a multitude of times.
And on a personal level, he holds a variety of records, including Most FIFA Ballons d'Or and Most Consecutive FIFA Ballons d'Or, Most La Liga Best Player Awards, Top goalscorer in La Liga, Top assist provider in La Liga, Top goalscorer for Barcelona in official competitions, Argentina all-time top goalscorer, and he’s the only player to have won more than one FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball. That’s quite the CV.
Messi has been the face of football for some time, even going so far as to appear on the covers of PES 2009, PES 2010, and PES 2011 before switching to FIFA from FIFA 13 until FIFA 16. Here’s how his FIFA rating has evolved over the years with stats recorded on FIFA Index.
Messi wasn’t always destined for greatness, according to FIFA. It’s understandable why; he hadn’t quite made his mark on the world and there was even a bit of uncertainty over whether he’d remain with Barcalona. Ultimately he stayed and the 2006 season saw him earn his place as first-choice right winger – of course, that was too late for his FIFA 06 rating, but it certainly helped his cause the following year.
After a breakthrough season, the brains behind FIFA’s ratings sat up and paid attention. FIFA 07 saw Messi’s overall rating jump to 84, while his potential was a staggering 94.
Messi received a small boost to his overall rating in FIFA 08, though his potential dipped slightly. He would soon rectify this!
In the summer of 2008, Messi signed a new contract with Barcelona to become the club’s highest paid player. And as if this contract wasn’t enough to show his value to the club, Messi’s FIFA rating jumped too and his potential climbed once more.
There’s a song that says that the only way is up, but ratings don’t always reflect that. It’s hard to go too much higher when you’re already eclipsing most of the players in a game.
Quite the leap this year, as Messi’s Overall rating climbed four points and his Potential jumped to 96! Of course, during FIFA 12’s development, he recorded a remarkable 73 goals and 29 assists in all club competitions, and won the FIFA Ballon d'Or for the third time, joining the likes of Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, and Marco van Basten with three to their name.
Despite another incredible recordbreaking year, and it being the first time that Messi adorned FIFA’s cover, there wasn’t much more that EA could do with his rating. A Potential of 97 may have been some consolation, however.
Some subtle tweaks to Messi’s individual ratings this year, but his overall and potential remain one of the best in the game.
Time catches up to us all. For the first time, Messi’s ratings take a hit and individual stats like stamina, strength, and reactions start to decline. Realising that he’s unlikely to get too much better, Messi’s potential matches his overall rating.
In his swansong year, Messi’s ratings increase slightly, but attributes that you’d consider age-dependant again take a hit. Still, Messi remained one of the best players in the game right up to his retirement. It will be unusual to select Argentina in FIFA 17 without his presence.