So I know there are quite a few reviews popping up on this guy, but I thought I'd still be able to share some experiences of my own of this guy and perhaps shed some light on some new areas.
Personally I feel that reviews are useless if you don't compare them with other players, even CR7 can feel clunky if you compare him to Mertens (even if they both got 90 dribbling on the card) simply due to character model etc. So I'd like to base my comparison on some different types of known meta players including the likes of Zlatan, Mbappé and some others.
Who am I?
I'm just your average addicted FIFA player. I hover around div 3 most of the time, sometimes even div 4 (never really take Rivals seriously though), and in WL I end up gold 1 usually if I play all 30 games. Made it to elite 3 once this fifa and a couple of gold 2 when I didn't finish my games.
I've played around 30 games with Socrates so far, 10 with his loan and 21 with his real card. I've tried two different chemstyles: engine and hawk. I've played him mainly as a ST in a 4411 and 4231, as well as CAM in a 4231. He averages slightly over 2 goals/game (bear in mind that I'm focusing a lot of play through him because he's the new jewel in the team) with 67 goals in 31 matches (all in Rivals div 3-4) and 12 assists in 31 matches. Most of these assists were from his time as a CAM, I'd say I've played around 8 of the 31 matches in a CAM position, and I'm sure he'd have closer to a 1:1 assist/game ratio if I was only playing him in CAM, maybe even higher (but with a lower scoring ratio as a consequence).
This is a tough one. At first I planned to use him as a CAM, and I still do experiment with it, but personally he's doing the most damage up front as a lone striker. He'll definitely be able to play both positions on a top level, so I think it mainly comes down to playstyle. As a striker he's similar to Zlatan but much better (read description below) and as a CAM he's more like a fusion between Pogba/De Bruyne but much better too. Whatever you choose, he'll shine.
Comparison to Zlatan:
Generally in FIFA I always play with smaller agile players (think Mbappe, Jesus, Reus), so it was no surprise that Zlatan was terrible for me in every position I tried him in. However, Socrates (even if he is similar to Zlatan on paper) is doing a much better job for me.
He feels much more agile, turns faster, and the +20 balance is VERY noticable (which was my main issue with Zlatan). His acceleration is faster too.
His finishing outside the box is better (and more importantly he can actually create space vs good opponents, which Zlatan couldn't do for me). Inside the box I'd say they are quite similar in front of an open goal, but the +20 balance really helps in tight situations when a defender is pulling your shirt just before shooting.
Socrates passing is better than Zlatans (who does have surprisingly good passing though), which you especially notice from the CAM position. Some through balls Socrates does will just make you laugh, and you will start to think that you are actually good at the game until you realize that it's just Socrates being Socrates. I guess it's a bit unfair to compare with Zlatan on this point since it's quite rare to play Zlatan in CAM, but if anything it just goes to show how flexible Socrates is.
In terms of physicality, Zlatan on paper beats Socrates on everything except stamina. However 86 strength (91 with hawk) does not feel weaker than Zlatans 99 strength. If anything Socrates feels stronger, and I think once again it's because of the balance.
The only area I can really say that Zlatan is better than Socrates in is aerial dominance. Don't get me wrong, Socrates will dominate the air too, but Zlatan with his 6"5 over Socrates 6"4, 80 jumping vs 71 jumping (90 vs 81 with hawk on both), 99 aggression vs 78 aggression (88 with hawk), and finally 99 heading accuracy over Socrates 89 heading accuracy, certainly are stats that prove that Zlatan is the superior player in the air. However somehow I'm still scoring more headers with Socrates, but the sample size is way too small to make the statement that Socrates is better in the air, and it'd also be a bit controversial so I'll just say that Zlatan is probably better in the air! Worth to mention that both players got power header as trait as well.
Finally Zlatan got 5*/4* whereas Socrates got 4*/5*, now personally I'd take 5* wf over 5* sm any day of the week, because a 5* weak foot makes you so unpredictable. Arguably a 5* skill move also makes a player unpredictable, and I'm not gonna pretend like I'm the best skiller out there, but with such a big character model I feel like being able to do heel-to-heel and la croquetas is more than enough which Socrates is obviously very capable of. A 5* wf is also something anyone can get advantage of.
At the end I just wanna say that, the obviously counter argument is that Socrates is almost 2M coins and Zlatan was 1/10th of that and therefore you shouldn't compare them. This is obviously true to some extent, but the reason I chose Zlatan is because he's the most similar type of player (at least for a ST position) and I know a lot of people have him so maybe you can relate to some of the comparisons.
Chem style: I honestly didn't feel a huge difference between hawk and engine. I'd like to say that his dribbling and movement felt slightly more agile with an engine and that his aerial presence + finishing felt slightly better with hawk, but the truth is that it's probably placebo more than anything else. I'd say, if you wanna use him as ST go hawk, and if you wanna use him as CAM go engine, but I'm sure this guy will be phenomenal no matter what chem style you go for.
Pace: surprisingly fast in terms of acceleration. His top speed is close to the likes of Zlatan (who is also quite fast once he gets going) but his +4 acceleration over Zlatan is definitely noticable. He also weighs 79 kg compared to Zlatans 95 kg, and we can only speculate how much such factors matter in regards to mobility and pace, but I think it does matter to some extent.
He always seems to be in the perfect position and time his runs accordingly, so together with his strength his pace is more than good enough to beat defenders from time to time.
He's obviously not as fast as players like Mbappé, Carniball Pulisic (holy sh- this card…), 94 Reus etc, but he's still fast.
Shooting: If you look around this subreddit, you'll see videos of people banging in goals with Socrates from anywhere on the pitch, and tbh, that's just how it is. Just press shoot and it's a goal 99 times out of 100. Best finisher in the game, inside the area he's on par with Zlatan, 94 Reus, Eusebio, and outside the area I'm yet to find anyone who can shoot like he does.
Passing: Amazing. He'll make passes from the CAM position that you didn't even see yourself and suddenly you're in a 1v1 with the gk (which you probably will miss, but at least you can score with Socrates from the following corner).
Dribbling: Flawless ball control. Good dribbling for a player with that size. For a player of that size he feels quite agile too, but if you're only used to smaller players, you might feel he's a little bit clunky to begin with (but no where near the clunkiness of Zlatan, and also significantly better than Pogba).
Defending: Meh. Some attackers actually do a decent job in backtracking and connect with a tackle. Socrates is surprisingly bad at this, which is also one of the reasons I chose to put him in ST instead of CAM, but it's just a minor detail. He will outmuscle players sometimes due to his physicality when running back, but I was expecting a little bit more tbh. Luckily it doesn't really matter too much for a striker.
Physical: Really solid presence. He'll hold off defenders for days until he decides to pass, shoot, or whatever. He can do anything. You can easily use him both as a "run in behind" striker, as well as a "target man". Personally I'd just leave him on balanced, and let him decide what to do, he usually makes the right decision anyway. I felt like the hawk chem style improved his physical presence quite a bit with +10 jumping, +5 strength and +10 aggression, so I can definitely recommend that, but even with an engine he was still sublime.
Pros (that isn't mentioned too much above)
– 5* wf
– good nation, lots of strong links because of Brazil
– can easily cover both CAM/ST positions until the end of FIFA
– perfect work rates (H/M is considered by many to be the best wr for a CAM/ST).
– even with TOTS coming, there are few players with Socrates' unique combination of stats such as: 4*/5* and 6"4 with power header trait etc. Maybe a player like TOTS Pogba can compare, but we are still several months off from that and he'll probably be more expensive than what Socrates is now anyway, so for me, this is definitely an "end-game" card.
– price (I see a lot of people saying he's way too expensive, but imo the sbc price is fair, 1.7M-1.8M after average packs on ps4 for a player that's as close to Gullit as you come (at least in CAM/ST), but I'll still mention it as a con since people seem to think it is one.
– no 5* skill moves. I know, I know. You could say 4* skill moves is a pro rather than 5* being a con, but when you pay close to 2M for a player, then 4* skill moves is a minimum fundamental requirement for an attacking player, and the lack of 5* skill moves has to be considered a small con imo.
– may take a little time to get used to if you have NEVER played with bulkier players (or if you're used to using prime Gullit who has much better balance), but he's much easier to play with from the start compared to the players of like Zlatan, Higuain, Kane etc.
– not a great CM on paper (his defending is too bad for this role, and this is where a player like Gullit has a major advantage over Socrates). Truthfully I haven't actually tried him as a CM, so some people might disagree with me on this point, but from what I've seen from his defending in general, I'd say he's wasted at this spot unless you play with a very offensive CM in a 41212 perhaps. I don't play this formation though, so I'll let someone else try that out.
9.5/10, this is almost the perfect card. If you want to be really really nitpicky you can always ask for 20+ more balance, 10+ more pace, 5* skill moves and better defending (so he can flex into a CM role like Gullit), but there are very few other players that can give you that and they will cost 5x as much.
At the end of the day, I can HIGHLY recommend doing his loan card, it's only around 10-15k which is so worth it for 10 games. Hell, even if you NEVER plan to actually do the final card, at least you can have some fun in the next WL by trying out this monster. Imagine actually having fun in FIFA, even if only for 10 games, for the mere sum of 10k coins… just do it!
edit: formatting, grammar
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