The time has come. The suspense has built. The servers have crashed. And all seems right with the world as we return to yet another installment of FIFA. I am interested to read in the comments how everyone is feeling about this generation of the football classic?
For myself, I am still uncovering the intricacies of the game… banging free kicks into outer space, turning over the ball every time I left stick dribble (which ‘was’ my forte) and just generally defending like a fool.
With that in mind we posed the “who do you want to be reviewed” question over on Twitter, with Rafael Leão a clear and obvious favorite.
The Portuguese youngster was brilliant for AC Milan last year and rightfully received a massive boost from his 77 rated card in FIFA 22.
To aid the Milan starlet I applied the FINISHER chemistry style and deployed him as the frontman in the 4-2-2-2 formation (yes, old habits die hard).
With that it is my pleasure to say, Leão was the pace and power across a 20-match Rivals grind this week in the following squad:
In Game Formation
Pace Rating: 9/10
Dribbling Rating: ?
Shooting Rating: 9/10
Passing Rating: 7/10
Physical Rating: 8/10
Defending Rating: N/A
I am not oblivious to the fact that because of my need for coins to complete these reviews, my team is already stacked.
It is also worth noting that many of my opponents did not have the same luxury and therefore Leão was not as tested as he could be.
Yet, from the cards I have used thus far, this one is right at the top.
Diogo Jota, who will cost you nearly 45k more and who seems a community favourite, was not any more of a threat. In a similar price point, Paulo Dybala was miles off Leão in terms of quality and really just speaks to just how good the Portuguese frontman performed across 20 matches.
Main Statistics - Shooting
Shooting Rating: 9/10
Weak Foot: ★★★★
Traits: Finesse Shot
If there is one trend I am noticing this year, it is the importance of the finesse shot trait.
The key difference between Leão and Jota in the attack was the ability to finesse the ball.
While the 95 FINISHING is fantastic at these early stages in the game, I had no business scoring some of the goals I did given the 72 LONG SHOTS & 88 SHOT POWER.
The only logical summary was that the FINESSE SHOT TRAIT was greatly impacting the accuracy of my finishes.
The 4 STAR WEAK FOOT came in clutch numerous times as well, culminating in 27 goals across 20 matches.
Given the slower nature of this FIFA, I do believe that over a goal per game in these reviews will be something special moving forward, but time will tell.
Value/Coins & Good vs. Bad
Value/Coins Rating: 5/5
Good vs Bad Rating: 4/5
Given all of the quality options boasted by AC Milan at the early stages of this FIFA, and for only 24k, this card feels like a steal.
The 90 ACCELERATION & 92 SPRINT SPEED are not the fastest I have felt on the ball (see Adama Traore), but they still gave plenty of defenders headaches.
Leão always felt like a solid first touch away from getting off a shot, which created danger across the review.
By now you are definitely wondering about the question mark beside Leão’s dribbling, and honestly, I am not quite sure what to make of dribbling at this point. I have read similar comments regarding this situation, where any turn feels like a potential loss of possession given the slow response.
Leão was no different, but I will say that there were some players who felt slightly better in my squad.
I might have gone with a 7 out of 10 overall in the end… and maybe this is simply how the game will play until further updates.
With that in mind I did benefit from the 188cm | 6’2 frame and 80 STRENGTH that Leão boasts as I moved to shielding the ball more often. Time will tell, but for right now dribbling doesn’t seem to be a tangible trait, outside of skill moves, in the game.
It just feels great to be back… minus the difficult free kicks and bombardment of scheduled maintenance.
But overall it was nice to be playing a new game and trying to decipher a new style of play. With Leão this was made that much easier as the big man tormented defenders throughout my review.
I feel like this card earns the cheap beast accolade and could be an early staple in FUT Manager's squads.
Again, I would love to hear how everyone is finding the game thus far. Who are the early Meta candidates and is there anyone in a slightly higher price bracket we should be looking at?
Thanks for reading, and be sure to follow @FUTBIN on socials and keep an eye out for our polls to vote on which players you want to see reviewed next!