In FIFA 11, Real Madrid was easily one of the most popular teams in the game. This was largely due to the fact that they were one of the few teams, and maybe even the only team, who could actually stack up against Barcelona.
And, of course, everyone wanted to play with Cristiano Ronaldo, especially if they were going to have to face Lionel Messi.
But after the 2010/11 season, where Real Madrid could only manage to win the Copa Del Rey and were outclassed by Barcelona on a number of occasions, what has happened to Real Madrid's player ratings?
Have they dropped drastically, stayed the same, or perhaps even risen? And do they accurately reflect the skill level of today's Real Madrid players?
Let's find out.
Note: Players rated below 70 have been excluded.
GK: Iker Casillas 89
GK: Antonio Adan 70
There honestly is very little to be said here.
Iker Casillas is widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world (and is No. 1 in my ranking of the top 50 goalkeepers in the world), and so his 89 is understandable.
If anything, a rating of 90 would probably have been more fitting for Casillas, considering he is the best in his position and guys like Xavi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi got ratings of 92, 92 and 94, respectively, for being the best in their positions.
Antonio Adan probably deserves to be rated in the 72 to 75 area, but considering the fact that he has only ever made three league appearances for Real Madrid, and five appearances in all competitions, his rating is also understandable.
RB: Sergio Ramos 85
RB: Arbeloa 80
LB: Marcelo 82
LB: Fabio Coentrao 82
CB: Pepe 85
CB: Ricardo Carvalho 84
CB: Raul Albiol 82
CB: Raphael Varane 71
Despite the porous nature of Real Madrid's defense, they always seem to maintain high individual ratings from EA Sports.
It's hard to argue against them deserving such high ratings though, due to their overall game, especially what they're capable of offensively.
That's why Sergio Ramos and Marcelo, two defenders whose defending is decent at best, are deserving of their respective ratings of 85 and 82; their ability to cross the ball and regularly score goals by marauding down the flanks and getting involved in the offense is highly impressive.
Their backups, Fabio Coentrao and Arbeloa, are fairly rated as well. Fabio Coentrao has proven to be an all-action player whether playing in midfield or defense this season, and Arbeloa, despite seeing limited time for Real Madrid, still performs well for the Spanish national team.
The only seriously questionable rating on the list of defenders would be Raul Albiol's rating. The Spanish international has seen very limited game time this season under Jose Mourinho, and has fallen below Raphael Varane in Real Madrid's pecking order.
Since these ratings are based on last season, it's hard to argue that they're hugely inaccurate, but if I were to reevaluate them right now, I would probably raise Varane's rating to 77 and drop Albiol to 79.
CDM: Xabi Alonso 86
CDM: L. Diarra 82
CDM: S. Khedira 81
CM: Nuri Sahin 85
CM: Granero 78
CAM: Kaka 85
CAM: M. Ozil 86
RM: H. Altintop 76
There are a lot of contentious and debatable ratings to be discussed in Real Madrid's midfield.
First, I would definitely argue that Xabi Alonso is rated a bit too high; especially when Sergio Busquets is rated only 83 in the game (a crime in my opinion). Xabi Alonso should've been rated 84-85, not 86.
Secondly, Lassana Diarra should definitely have dropped to 80. He was second choice behind Sami Khedira for the majority of last season, and has seen very little action this season. Why he kept his 82 rating is completely beyond me.
Lastly, Mesut Ozil should've definitely been rated somewhere between 87-89. If Xavi and Iniesta are getting ratings of 92 and 91 in this game, it's ridiculous to put Mesut Ozil so far behind them, when Mesut Ozil is the engine that runs Real Madrid and racks up assists in bunches.
That is not to mention that even Luka Modric of Tottenham is rated above him, which is just absolutely ridiculous (and this is coming from a Tottenham fan).
A few other minor points: EA Sports did well to leave Kaka at his rating, although I would've been okay with him dropping a point. Nuri Sahin is probably rated a bit too highly after his breakout season at Dortmund, and probably should've been rated in the 83-84 area.
Finally, Altintop and Granero probably deserved an extra point in their respective ratings as well.
LW: Cristiano Ronaldo 92
RW: A. Di Maria 84
CF: Jose Callejon 78
ST: Gonzalo Higuain 85
ST: Karim Benzema 84
ST: Alvaro Morata 70
Again, many of these ratings are very contentious in nature.
Cristiano Ronaldo's rating seems fair at first sight, but again, when you take into consideration that Lionel Messi is rated 94, you understand the unfairness of Ronaldo's rating. Lionel Messi is definitely the better player (as of now anyway), but by two whole points? I definitely disagree.
Messi's should definitely have been 93—or Ronaldo should've been raised to 93.
Karim Benzema's rating also makes no sense. The French striker was an absolute monster in the second half of the season for Los Blancos, came into this season in good form, and is clearly Mourinho's first choice. He should've easily been rated 86.
Finally, Gonzalo Higuain probably deserves to be knocked down a peg to 84.
Unlike in my review of Tottenham's ratings, there are multiple controversial ratings in the video game's Real Madrid ratings.
The ratings of Raul Albiol, Mesut Ozil and Karim Benzema are the three that most strikingly stand out, while the Fifa 12's ratings for Xabi Alonso's, Lassana Diarra and Cristiano Ronaldo are also highly controversial, in my opinion. And there are a number of other questionable ratings as well.
To an extent, the good balances out the bad. For example, Higuain's high rating balances out Karim Benzema's low one to an extent; the same applies with Xabi Alonso and Mesut Ozil.
As stated, that is to an extent, not completely. At the end of the day, Ozil will not be as effective as he should be in the game, and the overrating of Xabi Alonso will not directly improve that, even though it should level the playing field out a bit.
Personally, I'm not majorly disappointed—but I'm certainly not pleased.
The low ratings of Real Madrid's best players, coupled with the incredibly high ratings of Barcelona's best, certainly widens the gap between the two teams, giving a Real Madrid user a slight disadvantage against Barcelona.
Still, the gap definitely most definitely is not wide enough to the point where beating Barcelona will be impossible. It just will probably be a whole lot harder than it was in FIFA 11 which, as I said in the intro, is understandable to an extent considering the varying success of the two teams in 2010/11.
What do you guys think of the Real Madrid ratings on FIFA 12? Too high? Too low? Which player ratings do you specifically agree or disagree with? Make your opinion known in the comments section below.