I would consider myself as something of a Messi connoisseur, I use his card for a few hundred games every year, Including his fifa 18 nif for over 500 games. I'll cut right to the chase, this is his best card yet.
Now if you've used Messi in previous fifas I can tell you he feels similar but is better in a few areas. Firstly his dribbling feels even better, seriously it's harder to get the ball off him this year, l2+r2 dribbling and ramos/varane can't touch him. Secondly, maybe it's because of the rating increase but it feels like he has had a boost to the "icon cheese", what I mean by this is he will pull of the most ridiculous things when he just shouldn't. I'm talking 180 no look into the top corner, or someone how getting the ball into the net when it's practically behind the goal line.
Pace – 9/10 Fast but not Mbappe fast, I used him with hawk and hunter (couldn't really tell a difference) and he's easily fast enough to break away when in space, but he probably won't be able to outrun defenders on ether shoulder for too long.
Shooting – 10/10 You would think it's dribbling but honestly shooting is Messi's best quality. Don't know why it says he only has a four star weakfoot, it really feels like a five star. We all know finesse shots are OP this year but Messis are on another level and I would consider to be the best in the game. With 93 curve (+5 from last year) and the finesse shot trait seriously it's unfair, he can hit them easily on his right foot too. Messi will find a way to score, it's is just going to happen, never found it this easy to score with a player, even in the toughest games he will bag at least 1 or 2.
Passing – 9/10 No complaints here, his passing is probably just a hair shy of the best passers in the game. He will make passes that you though you couldn't pull of, and his chip through balls somehow always land perfectly in stride with your attacker. His free kicks are also very good again, one of the only players I can consistently score them with.
Dribbling – 10/10 Come on, it's Messi. He is untouchable. If you've used Mertens he feels like what you'd imagine Mertens tots feels like. Dribbling definitely feels upgraded from last year. Don't need sill moves, just left stick around the box and walk it into the net. Now here is the important part! There are loads of good dribblers in this game, but when the servers are bad they are less effective, not Messi, obviously he's not as silky in bad servers but I noticed how you can still dribble round people when I was struggling with others in the delay. Argument for best in the game.
Defense – 3/10 Will win you the ball back sometimes closing down with his pace. Will score some headers for you. Try not to track back with him
Physical – 6/10 I'm not going to say he is strong but with high balance he has a surprising resilience to stay on his feet and keep the ball. He will get marshaled by the big CBs if you don't move quick enough though. Stamina is a problem if you use him to close down and hold sprint all the time. But I found if you left him alone while defending and only use him to sprint when he's actually in the attack it is much less noticeable. The best part is with his crazy dribbling even in the 120th minute you can still skip past defenders easily, just don't be sprinting the full length of the field.
I had no problems with workrates, played him from CAM to ST and he always felt in the right position. He seems to naturally drift to the right side of the box to left foot finesse it across goal, which is an automic goal 9/10 times.
Overall Messi this year is easily one of the best cards in the game, but most importantly he is one of the most fun cards in the game. I don't play a lot of weekend league, but the Sunday I bought him I played 15 games straight to end up playing all 30, then I played more rivals on the Monday just to get to use him again!
Seriously you can't go wrong with this card, very strong argument to be the best player under 1.5 million. With the new formation changes with the d-pad it's easier then ever to fit him into your team, you won't regret it.
© Post "Nif Messi in depth review – The annual edition" for game FIFA 19.
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