After hours upon hours of grinding 7 wins to complete this card, I was MEGA HYPED to try this insane Brazilian Beast. At first sight I thought this Brazilian BEAST had a HUGE problemo with his pace only being 70. But if you WACK a shadow on him (as Nepenthez would say LOL) his pace feels great. His WHOPPING height of 6'6 makes up for his awful 53 jumping.
Height - He feels like MOUNT EVEREST. No one gets past him, not even PRIME GULLIT (NO WAY LETS GO).
Defending and Physical - INSANE. Nothing more to say.
Here is an honest and thorough review about FUT birthday Naldo. The moment I saw this card I thought to myself I had to get him straight away. The reason for that is because he is the only FEW usable Brazilian in ST/CAM/CM/CDM position in ligue 1. With the others being the expensive TOTGS or Carniball Neymar, unusable NIF Luiz Gustavo 83 and a few common golds. So he basically was the link that I had been waiting for a long time to connect my Brazilian defense line and the Ligue 1 / La liga hybrid upfront. And more, a strong HARD link to 89 Falcao which has been an untouchable presence in my squad even with 8 chemistry. Thanks to Naldo, my Falcao is on full chem now. So I grinded out my 7 wins and got to try this guy for 20 weekend league games as mostly CB (switched in-game) and sometimes a CDM.
Let me show you an interesting fact about this card. This card base stats actually looks awesome because other than the 70 PACE and DRIBBLE, the other stats are above 80. And looking at his 87 UCL card, this card only has a +1 OVR but a whopping 52 more base stats, and 247 more In-game stats! Which is a considerable upgrade and make him looks usable. But don't get fooled by the base stats and jump into conclusion because when you look closely, some of the attributes are almost maxed out so the aforementioned rating could be achieved. For example, his SHOOTING is 80 because of his 99 shot power and 95 long shot, with the others being 60 something. DRIBBLE manage to get to 70 because of 95 reactions and 94 composure, and the other attributes being horrible especially agility and balance. PASSING is 80 because of the 95 free kick accuracy and short pass. So what you are getting is a very unbalanced player who is very good in some specific attributes but is torrid at the others. Which is not a bad thing if that attributes contribute to his overall role in the team. But for a CDM, I'd rather have an all around even stats, or a 95 vision rather than free kick, and 94 balance rather than composure. But the stats are what they are, and I know how some of you are worrying whether to get him or not due to the above fact, so lets take a look how they affect the gameplay.
I grade each respective categories based on the base/game stats, and how well they perform relative to that expectation. So, if a person has a 70 pace stats, and his run feels like 70, I would give him the same grade to that category, which is 7. And I would scale the grade up and down based on how they out-perform / under-perform their own stats.
Chem used: Shadow.
Used Position: Mostly CB, sometimes CDM
With Shadow, he is not slow with 81 acceleration and 83 sprint speed, which should be fast enough for most cases. But a few times, I found him helpless trying to catch Mbappe, Aubameyang and other fast forwards when they are through on goal which has led to me conceding. So don't expect him to do so, and try pairing him up with a faster defensive pairing.
ATTACKING PROWESS: (N/A)
I play him as a CB most of the time so this part is not really applicable but a few times I played him in CDM too and I found that he offered little going forward. In 20 games, I scored 1 corners, 1 long shot, and 1 one-on-one. He has a lethal shot power and long shots in his foot, but his low positioning, as well as the agility and balance makes it very hard for him to find that perfect position to unleash that shot. His towering 198 cm height is always a physical menace in attacking corner but his 53 jumping lets him down very much. A slightly smaller defender with 90 plus jumping will easily wins the header against Naldo during corners. I find that VVD, Flashback David Luiz or FS Eder Militao still the best threat for a corner. So, don't expect him to be banging them goals.
PASSING & DRIBBLING 7.5/10
The above rating is based on my experience of playing him both as a CB and CDM. As a CB, although not the best he performs basic passes and minimal dribbling with no fuss and rarely misplaces them. But as a CDM, I feel the agility and balance is really dragging him down because you are required to make a harder pass and also run with the ball as a midfielder. And it is hard to get out of tight situation when the opponent plays high pressure against you. So I would give this category 9 as a CB, and 6 as a CDM which resulted in the 7.5 average.
DEFENDING & PHYSICALITY 10/10
This is the best part about Naldo, and although he has a few setbacks too, he is too good of a defender to not be given a perfect score. So let's start with some positives first. Defending manually, he is a perfect giant brick wall. With shadow, all defending attributes are close to 99, and combined this with 98 strength and 86 aggression, every players are just bouncing off him and won't get through. Now I never thought that one's height would give this much impact in the game. But standing at almost 2 meters tall, them LONG LEGS have a reach that will make a clean tackle from a distance that is impossible for most defenders. He stretches that legs very far and possesses a stunning tackle range. Strength wise, he is the strongest player I used in FUT only after VVD if not equally strong. Now, some of you would look at the 53 jump and thinks "hell no". I talked about this a little in the attacking section, but his jump looks very ridiculously low in-game and does not provide much threat whatsoever in the attacking corners. Defending a corner however, is a slightly different story. I have never seen Naldo beaten in the air at the back from either crosses or corners, and I would assume that is due to his physical presence. He will disrupt the positioning of the opponents striker as such so that they won't catch the headers.
Slight negative, however, I find that when controlled by AI, Naldo is not as intelligent as other defenders. I don't rely on AI defending all the time, but no matter what you say, utilizing AI to your advantage is a big part of the game, since you only control one player at a time. So unless, you position him in the right spot to cover an area, a split seconds of a late cursor switch and I find his positioning to be off more times than expected. But he is still one hell of a defender anyway so 10 perfect score for him it is. Stamina is also a bit low but I never had problem with it playing both CB and CDM with "stay back while attacking" instruction.
In conclusion, I highly recommend this card if you use any brazilian or ligue 1 players in your squad at all because he will give you options and depth. For a free player that you can get from a weekly objective, I find that this card is worth doing. 2~4 hours of gameplay, and you get a player that possesses a great link to all Brazilians and Ligue 1 players. Especially because my team needed that link so bad. He is not very much of a game-changer, my weekend league result did not change because of him, but he is more than solid defending option to have in your team. I don't recommend playing him as a CDM just because honestly there are better options out there. I have Prime Icons Petit, SBC Rabiot and Birthday Thomas Meunier and all three of them performs better in CDM for my team, kinda obviously. As a CB, however, he is one giant beast that works like a charm if you know how to control him to always be in the right position. And also, in order to do that, you need another CB that can play a CDM to switch in-game, which might be a setback to some people. I personally use FS Eder Militao or FB David Luiz to swap him to CB, but there are tons of options nowadays.
+ Towering 198 cm height
+ Almost perfect defending skills
+ Plain brute strength. A wall.
+ Superb tackle reach with those long legs
+ Rocket shot
+ Rare links potentials
+ Beautiful card design
+ Not difficult to obtain
- Weak AI-controlled defending
- Horrible agility & balance
- Terrible jump
- As a CB, need other player to swap with him in-game
In one sentence, this Naldo is a fantastic free card, but he is probably a bit too clumsy, slow, and awkward to be an effective CDM.
Starting with the positives, his tackling and physical presence at the CDM position is exceptional. Like many other tall players, he has the ability to stick out a long leg and recover the ball in lots of situations. His positioning is exactly what you would expect with a M/M card; he doesn't move around too much and generally follows player instructions. At 6'6", he is very good in the air, but the low jumping lets him down in certain situations; he's not a massive threat from set pieces which surprised me a lot. His passing is acceptable for a CDM, and the 4* WF is a nice bonus. He is certainly able to take powerful shots from range, but I don't think it would be worthwhile putting Naldo in an attacking position.
The three big negatives with this card are the pace, the general clumsiness, and the poor stamina. He is easily dribbled past by quick players (and even some not-so-quick players) and he really lacks the boost of acceleration often required to actually put a tackle in. In general, he is very clumsy and awkward in tight situations, probably due to the low balance. Finally, as I like to chase down attackers using my CDM, the stamina is a bit of a problem if you have a similar play style.
Overall, it was a fun card to use and you can't beat the price (free) even if the card has some major problems. In terms of feel, I would compare him to Rijkaard and David Luiz, although I don't think this Naldo card is quite on their level.
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