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FIFA 18 Ultimate Team: Lionel Messi receives International Hero upgrade

Lionel Messi's WC qualifier heroics saved Argentina from the brink of elimination, but EA awarded him an International Hero upgrade instead

What's the Story

Following the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Lionel Messi, Mohammed Salah and Gylfi Sigurdsson were given International Hero upgrade in FIFA 18. The three of them as well as Gabriel Torres and Kendall Waston were given an international Hero Upgrade.

Messi was surprisingly absent from the Team of the Week, but EA made up for it with the International Hero upgrade. All five players also see a significant boost to their overall rating. Messi's overall rating has also increased from 93 to 94, Salah's increased to 85 from 83, and Sigurdsson's rating increased to 84 from 82. But the biggest jumpers were Kendall Waston, who's rating increased from 74 to 80 and Gabriel Torres, who's rating leaped from 71 to 78.

Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina: Group F - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Lionel Messi was the star for Argentina.

In Case You Didn't Know

Argentina were on the verge on not qualifying for the FIFA World Cup and had just one match to turn it around. One match was all they needed. With a hint of Messi magic and a hat-trick, Argentina dominated and secured a berth in the World Cup.

The Heart of the Matter

Mohamed Salah has been given a boost as well, with an 85 rated version available in FIFA Ultimate Team packs. This was following his two-goal performance that booked Egypt's place in Russia next summer. Gylfi Sigurdsson's efforts inspired Iceland to also qualify for Russia 2018.

Salah and Sigurdsson already have One to Watch cards following their summer transfers to Liverpool and Everton, respectively. Their cards will be automatically upgraded to the new improved overall ratings. The International Hero cards are available in packs from Wednesday October 11 for a limited time.

What's Next?

The four South American teams who have automatically qualified for the 2018 World Cup are Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia, while Peru will play in a playoff against New Zealand in a bid to secure qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The participating teams are, Russia, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Serbia and Spain in the European qualifiers. Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia have qualified in the South American bracket. Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama for the North and Central American segment. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Japan and South Korea have made it through in the Asian quarter. Finally, Egypt and Nigeria are the sole African representatives.

Sportskeeda's Take:

With so many teams confirmed for the World Cup and many more still to come, this could make for an interesting World Cup. But it does not take away the fact that Messi unleashed a superhuman effort to bring Argentina from the edge of the abyss.

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