The new football season is upon us and, inevitably, it means the latest instalment of FIFA is just around the corner. Whilst critics will say it only receives an annual touch up, EA have done well to keep us on our toes.
The biggest addition in recent years have of course been Ultimate Team and that part of the game has been regularly updated with the inclusion of FUT Draft and FUT Champions, as well as other aspects like last year’s Journey Mode.
Ultimate Team in FIFA is set for another revamp this year and the biggest change is set to be the introduction of Icons, replacing the legends that have been present for a number of years, and PlayStation fans will be delighted to see their favourite former players coming to their console.
So far the original Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, Pele, Diego Maradona, Lev Yashin, Ruud Gullit, Roberto Carlos, Jay-Jay Okocha, Patrick Vieira, Peter Schmeichel, Carles Puyol, Alessandro Del Piero, Michael Owen, Deco and Rio Ferdinand have been announced, giving a total of 16, but further names are sure to be added to the list.
Interesting, FIFA is using an ‘Icon Stories’ theme this year that sees each icon have three different cards for three different periods in their career and we cannot wait to see how this plays out. We’re crying out for more names to be unveiled and these ten players would be exceptional.
Before his days dominating European football and guiding Real Madrid to success in management, the French midfield was busy dominating the centre of the park at the Santiago Bernabeu and for the French national team. He won it all with his national side and Los Blancos, as well as winning numerous honours with Inter Milan.
Zidane would work well as three separate cards from three different sections of his career as there could be one for his early days with Bordeaux, one for his international success with France whilst at Juventus and the final card representing his time with Real Madrid.
A legend for England and Manchester United, David Beckham arguably kick started the rise of the MLS and represented some of the biggest clubs in the world; including Real Madrid, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and LA Galaxy. He also boasts the small matter of over 100 international caps.
From his young days at Manchester United to his spell with Real’s Galaticos and then becoming Mr. Hollywood after moving stateside, Goldenballs is a player that needs to be immortalised in FIFA Icon form and he may well become one of the best wide players in the game.
From one England legend to another, Paul Gascoigne is the finest player to represent the Three Lions in the modern era and was one of few Brits brave enough to try their luck abroad, representing Lazio, Gazza is a hero to many football fans across the country- just ask your Dad.
From his early days with Newcastle United through to a successful spell with Tottenham Hotspur, fans would love to see a card representing Gascoigne’s Italia 1990 heroics – though it would probably best to leave *that* celebration out of the game.
From Ajax to, er, Barnet, Edgar Davids travelled Europe and the Dutchman played for some of the continent’s most prestigious clubs (and Tottenham). Boasting 74 international caps, Davids is a figure that’s instantly recognised – and not just because of his glasses.
His FIFA cards could represent his early days with Ajax, his time with Juventus that came alongside finishing in fourth-place at the 1998 World Cup and then potentially is latter days in the Premier League, when he graced White Hart Lane.
It’s a travesty that Raul, arguably the greatest ever striker to represent Spain, ended his career without a single international trophy. Los Rojas’ years of dominance came after Raul’s international retirement in 2006 but he stands as the nation’s second all-time leading scorer, a title he held for a number of years before David Villa surpassed him.
Raul would need two cards that represent the prime years of his career with Real Madrid and Spain, with the latter representing the two years he spent in Germany with Schalke- where he boasts an impressive record of 28 goals in 66 Bundesliga appearances.
Ok, so Philipp Lahm has only just disappeared from the game after his retirement this summer but we don’t want to imagine an instalment of FIFA without the little German full-back. We want him back in the game immediately and he certainly deserves icon status.
Spending the entirety of his career with Bayern Munich, excluding a two-year loan stint with VFB Stuttgart, Lahm needs a card to represent the early years of his career, which includes his stunning opening goal in the 2006 World Cup, a card for the turn of the decade and a card for the latter years of his career when he lifted the World Cup in Brazil.
Antonio Di Natale
Here’s a fun fact, only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo scored more goals than Udinese legend Antonio Di Natale during 2009 and 2011, with the Italian striker being a rare breed as he seemed to grow better with age despite being the ‘wrong’ side of thirty.
He may not boast any major honours during his career, which is frankly disgusting when you consider Djimi Traore has a Champions League medal, but Di Natale is a legend. With a card to represent his early days with Empoli, another for the first six years of his spell with Udinese and a final card representing the final six years of his career, Di Natale is a striker that we’d love to be able to select.
Not only is Johan Cruyff one of Dutch football’s greatest ever players and the man behind one of football’s most beloved skills, Cruyff is also the godfather of the modern Barcelona we’ve come to grow and love. We’re talking about his playing skill though and there weren’t much better than the late Cruyff in his prime.
Boasting an incredible record of 33 goals in 48 international appearances, Cruyff starred with Ajax for nine years before moving to Catalonia. He’d need a card for his years with both clubs, perhaps with the third representing his spell with Feyenoord. Whatever the choice though, Cruyff needs to be in the game.
Alfredo Di Stefano
Here’s another fun fact for you, Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano remarkably played for three international sides; Argentina, Colombia and Spain. Before the days of Ronaldo and Raul, it was Di Stefano who was the biggest icon in Real Madrid’s illustrious history- remarkably boasting 216 La Liga goals in 282 appearances, as well as five consecutive European Cups between 1955 and 1960.
His first card could represent the start of his career in South America, where he starred for Colombian side Millionarios, before having two more cards to mark his years of dominance in the Spanish capital. He’s arguably Real Madrid’s best ever player, so he cannot be overlooked.
With 16 goals in the World Cup, German striker Miroslav Klose stands as the competition’s highest-ever scorer. Whilst he may not have set the world alight at club level, there was none better than the striker during his prime for his national side.
His spells with Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich and Lazio could be represented by his cards in FIFA 18 but perhaps the most sensible approach would be to look at it from an international stand-point; with one card representing his first World Cup in 2002, where he scored five goals, his second representing his golden-boot in the 2006 World Cup and the latter marking either his four goals in 2010 or his World Cup winning campaign in 2014.