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Another GREAT FIFA year for underrated Raffael
By jefehobbs, 02-11-2017

Raffael has been my go-to guy for a cheap, effective Bundesliga CF/striker for the last several years in FUT and has always been one of my most respected real life players. I was sad to see Totti go, so this is my replacement for 18.

This year was a surprise, I was skeptical how effective he would be given the passing, dribbling, and physicality changes in FIFA18. So, I'd like to give this card a shout and let players know he's op and shouldn't be overlooked for more expensive options. He is a lethal CF for 433-based squads and is just as effective in my 4321 and 5221 Bundesliga squads. Each year there are a few cards that are simply "underrated" and perform well beyond their basic rating--he owns his area of the pitch like a 90 rated card, especially as a False 9.

When using him as a CF, I stick to basic chem style and set him as a False 9, which allows him to float--he has outstanding positioning. If running him as a ST, I set him as a Deadeye and and either "get in behind" or False 9, depending on the formation.

This is my first review on this site, but I've been playing FIFA since 97. If anyone has more questions about Raffael or how to deploy him, feel free to contact (twitter is best, or youtube). I'd love to hear how he works for you!

Have fun!

This year the dribbler and technical dribbler traits & specialties are very important--players lacking them feel like they are stuck in mud, regardless of their overall DRI rating--and Raffael has both. His close quarters dribbling ability is sublime and if he loses the ball he dives after it and often regains possession. Agility and balance feel a mile past what his stats tell you--a joy to play with. Great in-game composure. Back into and then spinning off a defender is more difficult this year, but Raffael gets it done game-in, game-out.

His positioning is absolutely op, both outside the box and in close. He doesn't score many headers but eats low crosses and tap-ins for lunch, all day. He has the ability to quickly locate another player for a quick 1-2 inside the box better than any player I've used this year. Hold-up play is very efficient given his size.

Production: granted, this year I am sticking mainly to squad battles at Pro and Legendary difficulty (WC is awful...) but his goals and assists maintain 2-3 points per game over the course of 55 games. He NEVER pulls an Ozil and goes missing...he is just consistent, and that's huge this year.

Work rates: H/M is perfect for F9 and a get-in-behind ST and he actually plays like a H/M, which some cards simply do not.

Short passing: feels like a gun turret and sets up a lot of plays and goals.

Pass reception: couldn't be better, he catches and controls everything you ship him.

4* skills/4* weak foot: he covers a lot of lateral ground and is very nimble, so skill moves are op and his WF is a killer from anywhere inside the box.

Finesse shot: many players I've tried this year take way too long to release a finesse shot, but not Raffael. Lethal in-close finisher and poacher.

Jumping and Physicality could be better, but he is 32 years old and given that, it's really not a problem. One helpful thing is to set your "get in the box for headers" custom tactics to 92 and you'll see him pup up at the near or far posts more frequently.

Sprint speed is obviously slower than many players, but his acceleration is adequate to get the job done and he feels quick in close areas because of his dribbling traits and ability.

Long passing, lobs, crossing: could be better, but not really that necessary for a CF/ST in most situations.

Long shots: referring to well outside the box, but he is solid anywhere inside the box with either low or high shots.

Formation: 5221
Position: CF
Games: 55
GPG: 1.22
APG: 1.62
Pace (4/10)
Shooting (9/10)
Passing (8/10)
Dribbling (9/10)
Defending (3/10)
Physicality (4/10)