Second part of my ongoing series. This post spotlights the standout midfielders from my club. Note that player ratings are boosted according to my assessment of their performance.
Blaise Matuidi (CDM/LCM/LB)
Games played: 338
Goals scored: 10
The FIFA fanbase has a love/hate relationship with Blaise Matuidi. He is a certified 85-rated walkout troll. His prancing bird celebration is one of the most infuriating things to watch on the odd occasion he scores a scrappy triple rebound goal on you in the dying embers of a game. However, hardly anybody can deny his quality as a defensive midfielder. His FUTmas card is among the most consistent non-icon players I've tried this FIFA in front of my back four and trust me, I've tried many cards.
Originally stationed alongside base gold Nainggolan (who was almost equally as impressive at the back while also contributing plenty going forward, but missed out on this shortlist since I haven't started him for a couple months now), Matuidi is an incredible ball winner. With a Guardian chem style, he is always in the right position to make a clean tackle recovering possession, despite having to track back every once in a while after having wandered too far into the opposition's half. To be fair, Nainggolan had the same issue (because of their H/H work rates) but Matuidi was always the first one home when we needed to buckle up on defense. As a conservative player who prefers his defenders to be well positioned and timed rather than lunge into tackles (Matuidi only picked up 2 yellow cards throughout), I really appreciate Matuidi's presence in the middle. The boosted dribbling stats allow him to maneuver and start attacks on his own. He surprised me with how well his passing is in the final third. The 113 assists he racked up tell their own story.
Origin: FUT Champions Reward – SIF
Games played: 545
Goals scored: 257
Not many people rate this card, even when he's received two In-forms, a Headliner and a subsequent Winter Refresh upgrade. This is most likely due to his 3 weak foot and a lack of good AC Milan links to get him on full chem (I'm looking at you, people who skipped out on FB Juanfran – who is one of the best RBs in the game, by the way)*
Red SIF Suso on my team, however, is a midfield maestro without a Maestro (I use Deadeye on him instead). His passing is always on point, be it short quick passes, through balls or crosses. The fact that he has the highest assists to games ratio on this personal TOTY team is enough proof of that. However, his secret weapon is that wicked left foot. Yes, his right foot is shoddy, his strength is non-existent and he lacks the break-neck pace that would help him get behind the defensive line, but that left foot is gift from God. Pre-patch, his 99-rated green-timed finesse long shots with that left is undefendable. Give him a yard of space to wiggle free, he shoots and he scores. A completely unique player on the squad, I instruct him to roam free and stay outside the box while the rest of his mates make runs in behind: more often than not the opponent would ignore Suso, giving him the time and space he needs to provide that goal I need, either via an assist or an unstoppable long shot.
Frank Rijkaard (CDM)
Origin: Prime Icon SBC
Games played: 293
Goals scored: 16
Having used his Prime card last year, I know full well how good Rijkaard is defensively. However, this year he is slightly different. His touch is lighter, he runs a little faster and is infinitely stronger. Replacing Nainggolan, he is the perfect partner for Matuidi.
Rijkaard does not stray too far forward nor does he drop back too deep, and is always around in the middle the park where I need him. The man intercepts passes with his long legs, cancelling out attacks before the opponent even thinks about making those cheeky through balls. He outjumps everyone, including the likes of CR7 and Ibrahimovic (well, he loses those duels maybe a couple times). He nudges dudes off the ball like they're rag dolls and casually starts attacks. His passing is solid – nothing too fancy but definitely crucial for someone like I am who plays a lot through the middle. If Matuidi fends off those demons and helps me sleep at night, Rijkaard is the one who bought me that bed I sleep in, and he makes it in the morning.
Eden Hazard (LM/RM/CAM/ST)
Origin: EPL POTM
Games played: 966
Goals scored: 523
The longest serving player on my team, Eden Hazard has never left no matter how many squads I built or how many players I bought. What seemed like an extortionate price at the start of the game cycle is now the best bargain I've made the entire year. Much has been written about his various qualities as an attacker and goal scorer, but on my team Hazard would appear to many as wasted since I play him at LM 90% of the time, or so it seems.
For the first 3 months of FIFA 19, I ran a 4-4-2 with IF Mertens and Scream Mandzukic up top, with Hazard at LM instructed to cut inside and get in behind. He did not get into as many goalscoring positions and could not carve out as many chances for himself on the left as he could have in the center. However, what he did brilliantly was draw in opposition defenders. Whenever he receives the ball, my opponents would start paying a LOT of attention to him, marking him, switching defenders just so that they could cover the space around him, second man press him. All eyes were on him. This leaves space for my other players – Mertens, Suso and later De Bruyne – to shine. As I transitioned into 4-2-3-1 and 4-1-2-1-2, he started scoring more like you know he could. On my squad, however, Hazard has always felt like a silent, selfless worker bee who places the team above himself. He will never leave the starting 11. Unless they give us a higher rated Hazard. But even then, maybe not. Maybe.
Cards reviewed so far:
Link to post #1: https://www.reddit.com/r/FIFA/comments/axwc5p/my_club_toty_part_1_the_forwards/
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for the defenders!
Source: Original link
© Post "My Club TOTY Part 2: The Midfielders" for game FIFA 19.
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