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Best Defender in the Game
By Cravings, 29-12-2017

Paolo Maldini, the man, the myth, the legend. Considered by many to be the greatest defender of all time. In his prime, a man who was feared as much as respected. On to the review in FIFA, I am a defender. That is all I care about. I saved up 1.4 million coins and scouted the market for weeks to find an ideal price point for this Paolo Maldini. If you do not know, this is one of the rarest cards in the game (Xbox). Sometimes, he is extinct, but most times there are only a few listed at a time. I bought him for 1,410,000 coins and sold him for 1,570,000 coins. You may be thinking why would anybody pay that much for a CB, let alone a CB that isn't even the prime version! Well, he is a luxury few can afford, but for defensive advocates like myself, he is well worth the price. Before I break down the stats, I will begin by saying I have used the following Icon CBs: 85 Ferdinand, 90 Ferdinand, 88 Nesta, 90 Nesta, 87 Desailly, and 88 Maldini (full chemistry, moved to CB). I have used every notable gold CB in the game except Sergio Ramos. This Maldini outshines them all, no question. Now, my favorite CB in the game is Kostas Manolas, I have over 360 games played with him and I always compare Icon defenders to him in terms of effectiveness, consistency, and also price point. This has lead me to sell many of those CBs listed before after around ten games because I simply thought Manolas was better. Now, I used Maldini in a 442 formation with Manolas, Alex Sandro, and Kyle Walker beside him. I used Paolo Maldini with a Shadow for 48 games in divisions, and he recorded 5 goals and 1 assist. Being my favorite athlete of all time, if I felt dominant in a match I would send him forward on my own, hence the goals. At this point, I would like to say besides Maldini, I consider Prime Rio Ferdinand to be the second best CB in the game, and I will compare the two in this review.

82 Pace:

Absolutely rapid. I don't necessarily believe chemistry styles do what they say they do; however, this card felt like easily 89-90 pace. On those through balls where the opposing attacker always feels faster than your CB, he had no trouble catching up.

56 Shooting:

Not bad, I must say. As said previously, I would send Maldini up the field on my own on occasion. Three times he scored a driven finish from just inside the area, twice with his left foot and once with his right. I believe this was partially due in part to his 97 composure. Furthermore, his long shots were piss poor. I remember in FIFA 15, I hit a 45 meter long shot with Maldini negating his 32 long shot stat. This year, he has 38 long shots and I would say that is accurate. Obviously, this is not important. If you are buying Maldini, chances are you play FUT Champions and need a true defender at the back.

74 Passing:

The best on a defender I've felt, very similar to prime Ferdinand. His long and short passing are superb, almost never misplacing a pass.

68 Dribbling:

Again, some of the best on a defender I've felt. Not the best, I think Boateng may just beat him and maybe Bonucci. In this category, there are also 95 Reactions and 97 Composure. Phenomenal, simply breathtaking. I will expand on this next in the defending category.

95 Defending:

It is near impossible to describe the sheer level of elegance, dedication, and intelligence in which this card defends. With a Shadow card, I'm sure almost all stats are maxed out, maybe except heading accuracy. Since this is a defender, I will break down this category into subtopics.

96 Interceptions: The best, period. 88 Nesta has 95 interceptions and is no where even close to this card. With his pace and interceptions combo, those overpowered ground through balls barely make it to the intended target when Maldini is around. He steps in front of players with so much ease, always intercepting the ball and then controlling it, and finally delivering an accurate pass. Sheer brilliance.

92 Heading Accuracy: Neck-and-neck with prime Ferdinand. On defensive headers / clearances / goal kicks, his accuracy is flawless. Occasionally, I would command him to make a risky headed pass and he would instead win the ball, and pass it to someone nearby, but in space, thus potentially saving my attack. I also noticed this with prime Ferdinand. However on offensive headers, his accuracy was not the best in the game. In my experience, 87 Desailly has the best offensive heading accuracy in the game, followed by Maldini and Ferdinand.

94 Marking: This is my bread and butter. To all you people with millions who use Bailly, I say shame. 82 marking on a CB is not acceptable in my opinion on a highly competitive level. I enjoy Manolas because he has 88 marking, an extremely exceptional stat for his rating. Regarding Maldini's marking, the best by a mile. Far better than prime Ferdinand. Not really much to say, he marks everything and will almost always get a last ditch block in because of his excellent marking and positioning.

96 Stand Tackle: There are no words to describe what my eyes have seen. It is so effortless, all you need to do is hold LT in a 1 on 1 situation and you now have the ball. That simple. Whatever situation, whatever player, in my experience he always made the challenge perfectly. He never even conceded a single foul. I remember vividly my opponent had SBC Cavani running toward the corner flag, attempting to shield. I held down B, and Maldini lunged through the back of Cavani's legs, knocking him to the floor like a baby, and not a foul given. It is as if the referees are scared of him. He would make such absurd challenges I started laughing and had to pause the game.

95 Slide Tackle: I did not use this much, but in one particular instance he performed a sliding challenge with a technique I've never seen before. He instantly recovered, and began my attack. There were many times where he automatically blocked the ball by doing a sliding challenge, but I would say that is more in the category of marking.

81 Physical: Very exceptional, not the best. This is where other CBs have him outclassed. I would say Prime Ferdinand, 87 Desailly, Boateng, as well as potentially Bailly have him beat. The only improvements to be made here are a slight boost in jumping and aggression. Maybe a very slight increase in strength. He has 82 jumping, I would prefer around 86. He is 187 cm, so occasionally he struggles in aerial battles. He has 83 strength, I would prefer 85-86. He has 79 aggression, I would prefer 82-83. However, most times this is not an issue. Because his defending is so high, he will find a way to knock the ball loose from even the strongest of attackers.

Final Thoughts:

He is, without a doubt, the best defender in the game. I will most certainly be doing the Prime Maldini SBC. This game is very much based around passing, and ground through balls. This is where Maldini shines. Everything on the ground is dealt with easily. For me, the price tag is justified. He is my favorite player of all time. If you play FUT Champions and / or have lots of coins, he is worth the price. Other than that, do not buy him. On average, If I had to give a justifiable price tag for all players, I would say 1,250,000 coins. But, he is the best. If you come up against him, I pray for you.

  • Pace
  • Dribbling
  • Passing
  • Defending

  • Shooting (He is a CB, does not matter)
  • Jumping (Rarely)
  • Aggression (Rarely)
Formation: 442
Position: CB
Games: 48
GPG: 0.10
APG: 0.02
Pace (10/10)
Shooting (5/10)
Passing (9/10)
Dribbling (8/10)
Defending (10/10)
Physicality (8/10)