Inter Milan: How Do the Nerazzurri Stack Up on FIFA 12?
Welcome to my 12th FIFA 12 Player Ratings review article, reviewing Inter Milan's player ratings on FIFA 12.
So far, I've reviewed the "Big Six" of the EPL (Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal), the two La Liga giants (Real Madrid and FC Barcelona), Bayern Munich, Juventus and AC Milan.
Last season, Inter Milan's chokehold on Italian football finally came to an end.
After five consecutive league titles from 2006 to 2010, Inter Milan were finally toppled by AC Milan, who won the title over them by a six-point margin.
Most people attributed Inter Milan's below-par season to Rafa Benitez, who lost the support of both his players and the president in less than four months on competitive action.
Leonardo was able to salvage the season by winning the Coppa Italia with Inter, but he too was not retained after failing to close the gap on AC Milan in the league and losing to FC Schalke in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.
With Inter Milan's season having been a mixed bag of ups and downs, what effect did all chaos and mixed results have on Inter Milan's individual players' ratings?
Let's find out.
Note: Players rated below 70 have been excluded.
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GK Julio Cesar, 85
GK Emiliano Viviano, 80
GK Luca Castellazzi, 75
GK Paolo Orlandoni, 70
As usual, there isn't much to be debated about the goalkeepers here.
FIFA 12 has chosen to rate many of the world's top keepers at around the same rating, so Julio Cesar has the same rating as Victor Valdes, Petr Cech and Gianluigi Buffon. No real objections there. I don't believe they're all as good as each other, but it's hard to put any of them a point above or below the other.
Emiliano Viviano was one of the brightest goalkeeping talents in the world prior to his injury, so I have no problem with his 80. If he hadn't gone down with injury, he'd probably be competing with Julio Cesar for the starting spot at Inter right now.
Castellazzi got an extended run in the team last year with Julio Cesar injured, so his rating makes sense.
Orlandoni has been the third-choice goalkeeper at Inter Milan for seven seasons now, and has only ever made five league appearances in those seven seasons for Inter. It's only a matter of time before he retires, especially since he's 39 years old now.
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RB Maicon, 85*
RB Jonathan, 76
LB Yuto Nagatomo, 76*
CB Lucio, 85
CB Walter Samuel, 85
CB Andrea Ranocchia, 80
CB Cristian Chivu, 79
CB Ivan Cordoba, 78
Since the Jose Mourinho days, Inter Milan have had the reputation of being one of the defensive teams in world football, but the players who played for Mourinho back in 2009-10 have aged and their skills are no longer as sharp.
Lucio and Samuel, who formed a near-impenetrable wall back in 2009-10, are still very strong, but a bit more error-prone and usually aren't held as high as the Thiago Silvas, Carles Puyols, Nemanja Vidics and Gerard Piques of world football. Their ratings here are fair though.
Likewise, Chivu and Cordoba have aged as well, with Cordoba rapidly approaching retirement at the age of 35.
Cordoba's rating is fair, but Chivu's is a bit harsh; the Romanian performed solidly at left-back last season, and has been remarkably consistent through Inter Milan's successes and turmoils. I would've given him a rating of 81.
Ranocchia, the one center-back who didn't play under Mourinho, has not been as impressive as expected for Inter Milan, especially since he and Leonardo Bonucci of Juventus were viewed as the future center-back partnership of the Italian national team. His rating of 80 is fair.
Moving onto the full-backs, it should be noted that in Inter's starting lineup, both of the guys with asterisks are shown as left and right midfielders since Gian Piero Gasperini, prior to his firing, liked to play with two wide players who ran up and down the entire field, instead of a full-back and midfielder.
In any case, Maicon is rated a tad too highly. I'm not one of those who believes he is a rubbish player since he got skinned by Gareth Bale, but he's definitely lost a step; I'd downgrade him to 84.
Yuto Nagatomo performed decently last season, so I'd give him a 78, while Jonathan is a still a bit of an unknown player despite his good years in Brazil and deserves his 76.
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CDM Thiago Motta, 81
CM Esteban Cambiasso, 85
CM Javier Zanetti, 82*
CM Dejan Stankovic, 80
CM Sulley Muntari, 78
CM Andrea Poli, 75
CM Joel Obi, 74
CAM Wesley Sneijder, 88
CAM Ricky Alvarez, 78
CAM Philippe Coutinho, 74
I wonder what it is with the Milan-based teams and wide midfielders. Twenty midfielders between the two teams, and only Urby Emanuelson and Javier Zanetti can really be considered wide midfielders, although both of them are known more as utility players rather than actual established wide midfielders.
In any case, I would say that all the 80-plus-rated players here are rated accurately, but the players below 80 are mostly a bit underrated.
Sulley Muntari's rating of 78 is fair, but Alvarez is definitely considerably more skilled than Muntari, and has proven it in Argentina as well. He deserves a rating of 79.
Similarly, Coutinho and Poli are significantly underrated here. Poli was the golden boy of Sampdoria prior to his move, and deserves a rating of 78, while Coutinho is an immense talent and deserves a rating of around 76.
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ST Diego Forlan, 84
ST Giampaolo Pazzini, 83
ST Diego Milito, 81
ST Luc Castaignos, 72
CF Mauro Zarate, 80
We come to Inter Milan's strike force, and it must be said that it pales in comparison to the strike force that Inter Milan had on FIFA 11, with Diego Milito and Samuel Eto'o both rated at 86.
Forlan here benefits from his Uruguay form in earning his 84. If he were rated solely on club performances, he'd probably be near 81 after a poor season with Atletico Madrid in 2010-11.
Diego Milito's rating drop is a bit harsh considering he had to adjust to no longer being the lone striker at Inter Milan, and playing alongside Samuel Eto'o, who scored a massive amount of goals in 2010-11. I would've dropped him to 82, and maybe even 83 if I was feeling generous. But 81 is too harsh.
Pazzini's rating is deserved—he has played well (though not amazingly) since his transfer from Sampdoria—and Zarate's rating is fair considering he wasn't very impressive for Lazio last season.
Castaignos' rating is way off though; the young Dutchman scored 15 goals for Feyenoord last season, which should've earned him a rating of 78 this season.
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Overall, Inter Milan doesn't look too bad in FIFA 12.
Julio Cesar is still a solid 85. Inter's defense, if switched to a flat back four with Zanetti playing as the left-back, is still fairly strong. Cambiasso and Sneijder still make Inter Milan's midfield a tough one to deal with.
But, aside from Sneijder, the team lacks real star quality, and is particularly weak up front. When going up against defenses with 85-plus-rated center-backs, 84-rated forwards usually won't cut it.
Ratings-wise, there are no major errors with Inter Milan's ratings. A number of Inter Milan's prospect players have been underrated, and Castaignos has been massively underrated, but those ratings shouldn't have too much of an impact on Inter Milan users in FIFA 12, except maybe in Career Mode.
The biggest inconvenience for Inter users will likely be Chivu's low rating and his position as a center-back rather than a left-back, but Zanetti should be able to slot in ably at left-back in his place if EA Sports kept his versatility as it was in FIFA 11. Yuto Nagatomo too should be a capable left-back.
What do you think of Inter Milan's 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.
Also, make sure to check out my other FIFA 12 player ratings articles:
I plan on writing articles to cover the player ratings for Napoli and Borussia Dortmund by the end of the week, so make sure to check back on my profile for when those articles are released. My older FIFA 12 Player Ratings articles can be found there as well.