In the exhilarating world of football, there exists a rivalry so legendary that it transcends the boundaries of the pitch and extends into the virtual realm of FIFA. It’s the enduring clash between two titans of the sport: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

FIFA Ratings Battle Between Messi and Ronaldo
FIFA Ratings Battle Between Messi and Ronaldo: From Rookies to Rivalry of Legends

Fans eagerly anticipate each new edition of the game to witness how these football icons are rated. Join us on a journey through time, starting from the very inception, as we delve into the enthralling FIFA Ratings Battle Between Messi and Ronaldo.

FIFA 04 – Christiano Ronaldo’s Debut

The year was 2004 when football gaming enthusiasts were first introduced to the virtual personas of Messi and Ronaldo. Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese sensation who was just beginning to make waves in the Premier League with Manchester United, made his virtual debut.

FIFA Ratings Battle Between Messi and Ronaldo : FIFA 04 – Christiano Ronaldo’s Debut

EA Sports bestowed upon him a modest rating of 80. Meanwhile, Messi was yet to grace the game, refining his skills with Barcelona’s B team, where he contributed six goals from 17 appearances.

FIFA 04 – Christiano Ronaldo’s Debut

FIFA 05 – Ronaldo’s Rise Continues

A year later, in FIFA 2005, only one of these budding superstars was featured, and it was Ronaldo whose ascent continued. Following an impressive second season with the Red Devils, Ronaldo received a noteworthy 88 rating, mirroring his meteoric rise.

FIFA Ratings Battle Between Messi and Ronaldo: Ronaldo's Rise Continues
FIFA Ratings Battle Between Messi and Ronaldo: Ronaldo’s Rise Continues

In contrast, Messi had just completed his debut campaign for Barcelona, managing just one goal from seven appearances and was still absent from the game.

FIFA 06 – Lionel Messi Joins the Game

Finally, in FIFA 2006, Messi made his debut in the FIFA franchise with a rating of 78. He had played a supporting role in Barcelona’s 2005-06 campaign, displaying early signs of his extraordinary talent.

Messi & Ronaldo 2006
Messi & Ronaldo 2006

However, Ronaldo was awarded a staggering 91 rating by the video game giants, generously rewarding him for his nine-goal Premier League haul that season. Only his Manchester United teammate and FIFA cover star Wayne Rooney boasted a higher rating at 93.

FIFA Ratings Battle Between Messi and Ronaldo: FIFA 06 – Lionel Messi Joins the Game

FIFA 07 – Rising Superstars

By 2007, both Messi and Ronaldo were well on their way to becoming football’s biggest superstars. Messi had netted 14 goals in 26 league games for the Catalan giants, while Ronaldo scored 17 in 34 league matches for Manchester United. Despite Ronaldo’s impressive goal tally in England, his rating actually dipped to 87, perhaps reflecting the challenging task of surpassing his previous season. In contrast, Messi received an 84 rating, showcasing his burgeoning prowess.

FIFA 07 - Rising Superstars
FIFA 07 – Rising Superstars

FIFA 08 – Ronaldo’s Ascendancy

In 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo firmly asserted his claim as the world’s best player, and this was duly reflected in his FIFA 08 player rating. The Portuguese international was awarded a remarkable rating of 91 in the game, following his remarkable 42-goal season for Manchester United. In comparison, Messi scored 16 goals in all competitions in Spain that year and saw his rating rise by just two points, reaching 86.

FIFA 08 - Ronaldo's Ascendancy
FIFA 08 – Ronaldo’s Ascendancy

FIFA 09 – The Battle Heats Up

This is where the battle for the top spot began to intensify. Ronaldo continued his fine form from the previous season, scoring 26 goals in all competitions. This earned him a move to Real Madrid and a FIFA rating of 91. Messi, on the other hand, was also awarded his highest rating to date in that edition, with a 90 rating granted after his impressive 38-goal season for Barcelona.

FIFA 09 - The Battle Heats Up

FIFA 10 – Messi Takes the Lead

The year 2010 marked a turning point in the Messi vs. Ronaldo debate. In this edition of the game, Messi claimed the top spot with a 90 overall rating.

Messi Takes the Lead

This was a significant moment, as Messi had overtaken Ronaldo, who was rated 89 overall. Despite Ronaldo’s world-record move to Madrid, his rating dropped by two points from the previous year, while Messi maintained his high rating.

FIFA 11 – Messi Wins Again

Once again, the Argentinian superstar took the crown with another 90 overall rating, maintaining his position at the summit of FIFA’s rating list for that season. Ronaldo, despite scoring a remarkable 53 goals in 54 games for Madrid, still maintained an 89 rating for that year.

FIFA 11 - Messi Wins Again

FIFA 12 – Messi’s 94 Rating and Record-Breaking Season

In FIFA 12, Messi achieved a historic 94 rating, solidifying his status as the best player in the game. This edition became even more special due to Messi’s extraordinary real-life performance during the 2011-2012 season when he scored a record-breaking 73 goals for Barcelona.

FIFA 12 - Messi's 94 Rating

This remarkable season not only solidified Messi’s reputation but also added fuel to the ongoing FIFA ratings rivalry with Ronaldo, keeping fans eagerly awaiting each new edition of the game to see how their virtual alter egos would be rated.

FIFA 13 – Messi Wins Again

FIFA 13 was the first edition of the franchise to feature Messi as the cover star, and it’s easy to understand why he was the game’s highest-rated player. The Argentine retained his stunning 94 rating, having scored a staggering 60 goals in 50 appearances for Barcelona that season. Ronaldo, once again, maintained his 92 overall rating.

Christiano Ronaldo 50 Legendary Goals

FIFA 14 – Messi’s Reign Continues

In FIFA 14, Messi continued his reign as the sport’s most elite player. He retained his table-topping 94 rating, while Ronaldo stayed at 92. Despite their impressive ratings, many football fans argue that Cagliari forward Victor Ibarbo was the best player on that edition of the game.

FIFA 15 – Messi’s Win (93 vs. 92)

In FIFA 15, Messi maintained his place as the top-rated player with an overall rating of 93, despite a slight dip from the previous edition. This was due to Ronaldo’s remarkable achievements, including consecutive Ballon d’Or awards. Ronaldo received a 92 rating, making this edition a closely contested battle between the two superstars. Their rivalry continued to captivate fans as they eagerly compared their in-game performances.

FIFA 16 – Messi Wins (94 vs. 93)

In FIFA 16, Messi was once again restored to his previous 94 rating, retaining his spot at the top of the ratings list. His incredible performance for Barcelona, where he scored 41 goals in all competitions, justified his high rating. Meanwhile, Ronaldo was just one rating point behind with a 93, underscoring the neck-and-neck nature of their rivalry.

FIFA 17 – Ronaldo Wins (94 vs. 93)

A twist in EA’s narrative unfolded in FIFA 17 as Ronaldo usurped his rival to claim the title of the game’s highest-rated player, boasting a 94 overall rating. Messi, however, was demoted to a 93 rating despite scoring 54 goals in all competitions the season prior. Whether this change was due to Messi’s contract as the company’s cover star coming to an end or simply because Ronaldo had outperformed him that year remains unknown.

FIFA 18 – Ronaldo Wins (94 vs. 93)

In an unexpected turn of events, Ronaldo secured back-to-back titles as the game’s best player, maintaining an impressive 94 rating. Coincidentally, this was the first year Ronaldo graced the cover of the FIFA franchise. Meanwhile, Messi remained at 93, as EA continued to favor his Portuguese rival.

FIFA 19 – Draw (94 vs. 94)

We now arrive at the only edition of the game where both players received the same overall rating. If anything, this was a favorable outcome for FIFA 19 cover star Ronaldo. Ronaldo had endured a turbulent debut campaign at Juventus that year. Messi, on the other hand, had just scored 51 goals in 50 appearances in all competitions at Barcelona, yet he was only deemed worthy of a one-point upgrade, keeping him at 94.

FIFA 20 – Messi Wins (94 vs. 93)

After sharing the same rating in FIFA 19, Messi reclaimed his title as the game’s best player one year later. He was awarded a 94 rating, while Ronaldo dropped to 93 as his struggles post-Real Madrid continued. Messi’s exceptional performances in La Liga continued to earn him top marks.

FIFA 21 – Messi Wins (93 vs. 92)

By this point, Ronaldo’s rating was on a downward trajectory that showed no signs of slowing down. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was given a 92 overall rating, which was one lower than the previous season and two lower than the season prior to that. Messi also dropped one rating point, down to 93, but this did little to diminish his claim as the game’s best player.

FIFA 22 – Messi Wins (93 vs. 91)

In FIFA 22, Messi was awarded a 93 overall rating, while Ronaldo, following his stunning return to Manchester United, received a 91 rating. Messi continued to demonstrate his unwavering consistency at the highest level, cementing his status as the virtual king of the game.

FIFA 23 – Messi Wins (91 vs. 90)

In the most recent edition, both superstars find themselves in the twilight of their illustrious careers, and their stats reflect this reality. Messi received a 91 rating, his lowest since 2011, while Ronaldo was rated 90 overall. The downward trajectory was certainly evident for Ronaldo, but even he might not have expected such a significant downgrade in the latest version of the game.

Lionel Messi – Top 50 Goals

EA FC 24 – Messi Wins (90 vs. 86)

As EA Sports bids farewell to the ‘FIFA’ franchise in favor of their new brand ‘FC,’ Messi maintains his supremacy. In the inaugural edition of FC, Messi emerges victorious in the head-to-head battle with his Portuguese counterpart. According to a recent leak, Inter Miami star Messi received a 90 rating in-game, while Ronaldo had dropped to an 86-rated player following his high-profile move to Al-Nassr in December.

The Overall Verdict

While many fans have struggled to definitively separate these iconic players over the last two decades, EA Sports has charted their unique paths. Ronaldo surged ahead in the early stages of his career as Messi was making his mark in the game. However, the World Cup winner has mounted a comeback and eventually overtaken his rival. With the recent leak of the EA FC 24 ratings, Messi now holds a 12-8 advantage over Ronaldo, with the two also sharing equal ratings back in 2019. Does this settle the debate once and for all? Well, that largely depends on which side of the argument you find yourself on. Nonetheless, the FIFA ratings battle between Messi and Ronaldo has undeniably been one of the defining narratives in football gaming history, adding another layer of excitement to their legendary rivalry, both on and off the pitch.

FAQs: FIFA Ratings Battle Between Messi and Ronaldo

Who has the higher FIFA rating overall, Messi or Ronaldo?

Messi currently holds a higher overall FIFA rating compared to Ronaldo.

How many times has Messi been rated higher than Ronaldo in FIFA games?

Messi has been rated higher than Ronaldo in FIFA games for the majority of their careers, with a few exceptions.

What was Messi’s highest FIFA rating?

Messi’s highest FIFA rating was an astonishing 94 in FIFA 12, reflecting his incredible performances.

Has Ronaldo ever been the top-rated player in FIFA?

Yes, Ronaldo has been the top-rated player in FIFA games on several occasions, particularly during his peak years.

Are FIFA ratings based solely on real-life performance?

While real-life performance plays a significant role, FIFA ratings can also be influenced by various factors, including marketing and cover star status.

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