The FIFA evolution of Cristiano Ronaldo
Tracing the Portuguese forward's journey from a talent to the finished article
Real Madrid star forward Cristiano Ronaldo is undisputedly the best player in EA Sports FIFA 17. The ruthlessly efficient goal-scoring animal that the Portuguese has evolved into at Real Madrid, is vastly different from the rapid, twinkle-toed winger would often leave spectators and defenders bewildered with his skills at Manchester United.
The carefree show-boating and those mazy runs on the wings have been sacrificed for ultimate efficiency. Resultantly, the Portuguese has, in each of his past six seasons for Los Blancos, managed to score at least 50 goals a season compared to his 118 for Manchester United in six years at Old Trafford.
Similarly, on the FIFA series, Ronaldo has evolved from a winger with immense potential to an impossibly strong and fast footballing machine who is the best player in the game.
The Portuguese forward made his first appearance in the series with FIFA 04, where he did not have an overall rating but signs of the young Ronaldo’s talent were already visible, with dribbling and passing abilities rated at 84 and a strong shot rated at 77.
The then 18-year-old’s pace had still not caught EA’s eye as he was given a lowly rating of 64 in that department. The winger’s face though looked a little awry as the player likeness technology as seen in FIFA 04 was nowhere near the levels the current generation FIFA instalments are at.
When FIFA 05 came out, Ronaldo had started to make his mark at Old Trafford. His pace was now recognised and upped almost 30 points to 93, while all other attributes saw significant gains. Shot power saw an eleven point increase to 88.
EA’s player likeness system had still not evolved so the Manchester United man still did not look remotely like himself in the game.
The next instalment, FIFA 06, saw Ronaldo get his first overall rating in FIFA. Rated 91, this was Ronaldo’s entry into the footballing elite. His acceleration stood at 95, pace 93, dribbling and ball control both at 95 while shot power and heading ability saw a one point drop.
FIFA 07 saw the Portuguese’s rating drop to 87 after a sub-par Manchester United season. His acceleration and shot power attributes saw big hits.
The 2008/09 season was the one where Ronaldo hit his peak for United. In his physical and mental prime, he was an unstoppable attacking force as the Red Devils won the Champions League. His rating in FIFA 08 also saw a mini-renaissance as he climbed back to his earlier perch of 91 as finishing, shot power and acceleration attributes saw a jump.
This was also the season where he scored that famous free-kick against Portsmouth and as a result, his free-kick abilities rose to 88. Consequently, FIFA 09 saw Ronaldo remain at his rating of 91 while free kicks attribute rose to 92.Video: Watch Lionel Messi’s progression from FIFA 06 to FIFA 17
Also Read: 5 actors who could play Cristiano Ronaldo
FIFA 10 was released after the Portuguese’s then world record transfer to Real Madrid. As a result, FIFA 10 was also Ronaldo’s first FIFA appearance in Real Madrid colours. After a slightly sub-par season with Manchester United, the Portuguese’s rating dipped to 89 and was overtaken by Lionel Messi as the best player in the game.
Finishing, shot power and free-kick abilities all regressed to contribute to Ronaldo’s drop in standing.
The winger’s drop in rating continued with FIFA 11 with him being rated 87, although the forward’s shot power was at its highest with 93. As Ronaldo hit his stride with Real Madrid, FIFA 12 gave the Portuguese a rating of 92 which was his highest ever then.
His acceleration dipped but the pace ratings remained the same. FIFA 13 didn’t see much of a change in his ratings and his overall remained unchanged as well.
FIFA 14 and FIFA 15 saw Ronaldo turn into a complete striker, with finishing reaching a level of 95 while free-kick accuracy went down to 79. Shot power reached its peak at 94.
The Portuguese’s overall rating increased for the first time in a few years in FIFA 16 when it rose to 93. His speed and dribbling regressed as Ronaldo continued his evolution into a number 9 from a marauding winger.
The latest instalment in the series, FIFA 17, saw Ronaldo being crowned the best player in the game after a long interval as he overtook Messi with a rating of 94. His speed increased to 92 while dribbling and passing stats also improved and he changed into a deadly goal machine.