EA Sports have begun the week by revealing the 24 top-rated men's and women's players included in the latest edition of their flagship football game and the very first edition to bear the new name: FC 24.
Having ended their long-running partnership with FIFA last year, EA Sports have kicked off this new FC era with an overhauled rating system that as well as giving players an ability rank out of 100, also bestows them with special talents and playing styles optimised by Opta stats.
Just as in the final game of the FIFA era, the highest player rating in the FC 24 base game is 91, which is shared by four players -- one of which just so happens to be a Ballon d'Or winner.
Having both previously dominated the EA Sports franchise ratings for many years, both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have seen their stats wane further. Messi misses out on a place in the top five and Ronaldo slips out of the top 24 altogether as a wave of fresh and emerging talent begins to usurp the once-established order.
We've taken a look at the first batch of FC 24 player ratings on offer and sifted through them in order to highlight some of the biggest and most noteworthy talking points.
1. New superstars rule the roost
Almost appearing as a symbolic passing of the torch as EA Sports prepare to move into the FC era, former heavyweights such as Messi and Ronaldo have found themselves sliding down the rankings -- some more dramatically than others.
There is also no room inside the top 24 for Son Heung-Min, Sadio Mané, Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Casemiro, N'Golo Kanté, Éderson, Jan Oblak, Toni Kroos and Marquinhos -- all of whom were included in the top 24 just one year ago.
Instead, the likes of Kylian Mbappé, Erling Haaland, Rodri, Vinícius Júnior and Rúben Dias have surged up the order as far as the men's game is concerned. Simultaneously there are a raft of new faces from the women's game who have reached rarified levels, with Barcelona and Spain star Alexia Putellas leading the way.
Putellas is joined in the top 10 by club and international teammate Aitana Bonmati, the reigning FIFA Women's World Cup Golden Ball and UEFA Women's Player of the Year winner, as well as Chelsea and Australia hotshot Sam Kerr.
2. Mbappé is the new golden boy
After being made to wallow in third place in the FIFA 23 player rankings, Mbappé has been elevated to the top spot in FC 24 despite the mercurial Paris Saint-Germain forward's actual rating holding firm at 91 between games.
3. Messi slides out of top five
Having narrowly managed to cling onto his top-five status in the FIFA 23 rankings, Messi has been nudged down into sixth place this time around. This comes after the Argentina captain had cemented his position in the top two for an impressive 13 straight years prior.
4. Treble winners on top
No clubs contribute more players to the list of the top-24-rated players in FC 24 than Manchester City and Barcelona Femeni, although that perhaps shouldn't come as too much of a surprise given that both are reigning treble champions.
City have two players in the top 10 and four players included overall in the shape of Haaland, Dias, Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne. Meanwhile, Barca's all-conquering women's team can boast both Putellas and Bonmati inside the top 10 with winger Caroline Graham Hansen and defender Mapi León also making the cut.
The only other club to offer more than two players is Liverpool men's team, though all three of their representatives are outside the top 10 with Mohamed Salah (13th, 89) leading the charge ahead of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.
5. Courtois retains place as best keeper
Thibaut Courtois is once again the best goalkeeper in the game as the Real Madrid stopper carries his high rating of 90 over from FIFA 23 and into FC 24. The 31-year-old Belgium international is likely to miss a significant chunk of the 2023-24 season after suffering a ruptured ACL in August, but that has obviously done nothing to diminish his lofty standing in the virtual realm.
Indeed, only three keepers have made it into the top 24 of the overall player ratings with Courtois (9th) being the only one to have squeezed into the top 10. Further down the order, Marc-André ter Stegen (21st, 89) and Alisson (23rd, 89) are the only other representatives of the goalkeepers' guild.
6. Highest rise, lowest fall
The most meteoric rise in the ratings has been made by Haaland, who was 21st overall in FIFA 23 with a rating of 88. By the simple act of merely scoring 52 goals in 53 games while winning the Treble in his debut season with Man City, the Norwegian powerhouse has clambered all the way up to third in the FC 24 ranking with an overall rating of 91.
After topping the ratings outright in FIFA 23, Karim Benzema has tumbled all the way down to 8th place in the FC 24 pile after bringing his glorious Real Madrid tenure to an end in favour of moving to the Saudi Pro League with Al Ittihad. This despite his overall rating only falling from 91 to 90 in the space of a year.
Robert Lewandowski was the second-highest-rated player in FIFA 23, although a similar single-point reduction from 91 to 90 has seen the Barca poacher toppled from the silver medal position on the podium all the way down to 11th.
FC 24's top-24-rated players
- Kevin De Bruyne, midfielder, Manchester City, Belgium: 91
- Erling Haaland, forward, Manchester City, Norway: 91
- Kylian Mbappé, forward, Paris Saint-Germain, France: 91
- Alexia Putellas, midfielder, Barcelona, Spain: 91
- Karim Benzema, forward, Al Ittihad, France: 90
- Aitana Bonmati, midfielder, Barcelona, Spain: 90
- Thibaut Courtois, goalkeeper, Real Madrid, Belgium: 90
- Caroline Graham Hansen, forward, Barcelona, Norway: 90
- Harry Kane, forward, Bayern Munich, England: 90
- Sam Kerr, forward, Chelsea, Australia: 90
- Robert Lewandowski, forward, Barcelona, Poland: 90
- Lionel Messi, forward, Inter Miami, Argentina: 90
- Alisson Becker, goalkeeper, Liverpool, Brazil: 89
- Kadidiatou Diani, forward, Lyon, France: 89
- Ruben Dias, defender, Manchester City, Portugal: 89
- Ada Hegerberg, forward, Lyon, Norway: 89
- Mapi Leon, defender, Barcelona, Spain: 89
- Alex Morgan, forward, San Diego Wave FC, United States: 89
- Neymar, forward, Al Hilal, Brazil: 89
- Rodri, midfielder, Manchester City, Spain: 89
- Mohamed Salah, forward, Liverpool, Egypt: 89
- Marc-André ter Stegen, goalkeeper, Barcelona, Germany: 89
- Virgil van Dijk, defender, Liverpool, Netherlands: 89
- Vinícius Júnior, forward, Real Madrid, Brazil: 89