“He’s our centre-half, he’s our number four, watch him defend and we watch him score.
“He can pass the ball, calm as you like, he’s Virgil van Dijk, he’s Virgil van Dijk!”
Raise your hand if you have submitted over 50+ PL Upgrade packs and not received anything in return. Right from the announcement of the TOTY I knew that I wanted to get my hands on the 95 rated Virgil van Dijk immediately. The 85 rated version of the big man’s card was OP, his 86 borderline unfair, and his 87 one of the best defenders I have used in FIFA, period. So what would this 95 rated card be like?
After acquiring the Dutch colossus I went straight to work applying a SHADOW chemistry style and placing him on the left side of a 4-2-2-2 formation. It is always a bit different reviewing defenders as the best defenders go unnoticed. If I play a Weekend League match and do not remember my center-half it is more often than not because he did not make any mistakes. Additionally, it is difficult to make a video for defender reviews as they are not scoring many goals, unless you purposefully put them out of position, which does not do the review justice. I tried my best this weekend to play VVD as I would any defender in order to try and quantify the difference between previous informs and his TOTY card. Van Dijk was the keystone in the following squad:
At 94 ACCELERATION & 98 SPRINT SPEED Van Dijk is like a bullet train when tracking down the ball. The tractor beam like rate that defenders pull in attackers was already noticeable in FIFA 19, but with Van Dijk he reels them in and smashes them more often than not. With previous VVD versions there is a small list of players that I would say can keep ahead of him in a sprint; but the TOTY is on a different level and would be chances were obliterated before they could begin. On the ball Van Dijk is also quick and quite silky for a big man and I utilized this throughout the weekend.
Pace Rating: 9.5/10
Passing & Shooting
The passing range and ability on this card are everything you need in a center half and more. Realistically this card could easily be a beast of a midfielder and the passing range could be further utilized, as he was incredibly accurate throughout the weekend. The 76 CURVE does hinder the shooting ability on this card and is part of the reason I didn’t try the big man in the midfield during my review. That and he is so dominate in the back I couldn’t risk moving him forward. Further hurting the shooting category is the 3 STAR WEAK FOOT & 65 FINISHING that really does kill off any temptation to experiment with Van Dijk in the midfield. With 99 SHOT POWER & 80 LONG SHOTS I won’t lie that in the right circumstances I did take some audacious attempts in easier games. But despite all the tickets I purchased... I didn’t win any raffles here.
Passing Rating 8.5/10
Shooting Rating: 6.5/10
Perhaps the biggest surprise of this review was how agile and quick TOTY Van Dijk is on the ball. With 75 AGILITY & 60 BALANCE you would expect a “clunkier” feel when dribbling but there was none of that. The big man just glides around the field as if he were on water and I had to keep myself from getting too carried away moving him forward on the ball. 87 DRIBBLING is no doubt a factor here and mixed with the pace and physical strength of this card it is difficult to get him off of the ball.
Dribbling Rating: 9/10
Defending & Physical
So why would anyone pay 1.5 million coins for a defender? These two categories (definitely pace as well) sum up the logic and then some. With the SHADOW chemistry applied Van Dijk has 96 HEADING ACCURACY, which is slightly disappointing as it leaves VVD just +4 off of all 99+ RATED DEFENSIVE STATS. These statistics are insane and so is the defensive ability of this card… zero penalties conceded, zero yellow cards, and only three or four fouls that I can remember. The physicality of some defenders I have used (Boateng for instance) has me convinced that they are more prone to giving up pens than others. Van Dijk just finds a way to take the ball yet still leaves the attackers in a heap of pain. From a physical standpoint this card is just as impressive but I could not warrant a 10/10 in this case if only for one reason: No matter how strong, tall, or physical your defenders are… CR7 is still winning headers over them… with Bale a close second.
Defending Rating: 10/10
Physical Rating: 9.7/10
Final Rating: 9.4/10
This card made for an entertaining Weekend League if only for the fact that Van Dijk’s song was stuck in my head during every match. Furthermore enjoyment comes from knowing when your match your opponent loads into the match he can see the big man with that slight smirk on his face saying, “I am going to absolutely punish anyone who tries to get near our box”; this in itself is worth a rage quit or two. I did keep track of my weekend and in 25 games I conceded 32 goals, which I felt was quite effective. However, when it comes to the discussion of value for money I just cannot recommend this card despite my rave review. Yes, he is fantastic and notably better than his 87 rated RTTF. However, at 1/3 the price you are still left with a fantastic center half who has many of the above traits without the shiny stats. Additionally, in FIFA 19 it does not matter than Van Dijk is a man monster in the back, if a timed finish is hit from outside of the box, it is curving around him into the top corner regardless of his size. Until these finishes are properly patched it is hard to justify a defender with a massive price tag when the money could be spent in other areas of your squad. I will close by saying that this card is everything that is advertised and was incredibly fun to use, but I have cashed in and moved back to the 87 RTTF with plans on spending that million coins elsewhere in my squad. Cheers for reading.