FUT and the Chinese Deals

China is China. You can’t argue with that. They are the second biggest economy in the world and the ones who have showed the biggest growth in the last 25 years. And they came to stay up there for some time. After all, one out of every five people in the world is located in this country. Surely they represent a gigantic market and for as long as they decide that they want to ‘rule’ football, no one will be able to stop them.

The president of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, wants to transform the country into the biggest football world power. That’s an indeed auspicious plan (and even illusory at some point), considering China’s small history within the sport. Ping-pong and basketball are the two sports of much more tradition in the country of 1.4 billion people, now they’re slowly starting to open up to the rest of the world to prove that nothing is impossible. It’s just a matter of time.

In order to reach this goal, China will obviously need to invest astronomical amounts of money, while they’ll be counting on the help of multimillionaire businessmen who will agree on anything in exchange for political gains. Those who condemn the artificiality of such procedure shouldn’t forget that clubs of less history such as Manchester City, for example, who claim to have around 75 millions of followers only in China (!), were built to win at the cost of countless pounds.

Just like with the other leagues that recently tried to grow – USA, Japan and Saudi Arabia, for example – the first step to be taken must be promoting the interest of the football enthusiasts. For that they could build several nice stadiums or offer the lowest priced tickets, but nothing will be as efficient as bringing world class players to these leagues. Preferably attackers, which are commonly worshipped by a mass of supporters that consumes international football like no other people.

In this transfer season Chinese clubs have invested like never before. For Alex Teixeira, Jackson Martinez, Ramires, Gervinho, Demba Ba, Fredy Guarín and Paulinho together they paid 170 million Euros. And that’s just the beginning. It can be guessed that they’ll seal even greater contracts over summer. The SuperLiga is slowly acquiring more and more visibility and fans, and it might as well blow up in case Ronaldo or Messi joins it, as that has already been rumoured. Financial fair-play is definitely not a thing around China. On the contrary: the more money to be invested, the better.

Players being transferred to China and not coming out from packs in FIFA 16 anymore doesn’t seem too bad (not confirmed by EA). After all, they can always be found on the market. However, playing FIFA 17 without some of the players we like the most, such as the beast Ramires – the fastest defending midfielder in the game – would be a mood killer, plus many others will follow the same path. It’s easy to realise that this year the Superliga will most certainly be the most requested new league for the game. EA know better than anyone that they’ll have to buy the licence if they want to keep being the top-sellers – such title acquired back when they first ‘conquered’ the English League’s license. Given the interest that China have in promoting themselves, I’d say this has everything it needs to be the easiest negotiation to ever happen between EA and a league. I wouldn’t be surprised if, instead of EA paying for the license, China paid for them to be included in the game.

In this world where money always speaks louder, it’s no secret that China is willing to do anything in order to one day become the center of international football. In Portugal, for example, they’ve recently bought the second league of football. They not only acquired naming rights but also forced clubs to sign and utilize young Chinese players. It sounds surreal, but this is actually happening. Being aware of how easily EA can be sold out, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if they introduced in the next games of the franchise some new features, such as a specific SuperLiga TOTS, some Chinese stadiums or young players from there as the new wonderkids of the game.

What about you, how do you think this Chinese football growth will affect the next couple of FIFA’s?

FIFA 16 Attributes: Vision

Vision is the attribute that increases (or reduces) the possibilities of a successful long pass. It affects both outfield players and goalkeepers when going for a long pass. When we’re playing looking at the screen we usually have an above view of the game, just like when we’re watching football on TV. However, a player has quite a different view for himself, a first-person pitch view, and it’s very hard to see where his teammates are. Without seeing where they are, a long pass will have a random destination, it might be a teammate or an opponent that receives the ball. The better the Vision attribute, the wider your player will see in order to locate his teammates and therefore the bigger the chances of a successful long pass. 100 of Long Passing won’t do a thing if the player has zero of Vision, it’s like blindfolding Messi and then telling him to pass, even he will fail while in a game.

For the first time the attribute is also crucial for goalkeepers, he must have good Vision in order to be able to throw the ball well, however people usually just look at their basic attributes not knowing of this importance. I set low for centre backs because they shouldn’t really have to pass, it doesn’t matter how the clearance is done as long as it’s done, just let luck decide what comes next. Although the full backs and CDMs are defending players, they also attack from time to time, and although the CAM is a crucial attacking player, he doesn’t perform long passes as much as short ones to assist the strikers, so they get medium importance. The wingers need this attribute a lot for crosses and vision is of great importance for them to know where the attackers are at. As a striker, having 100 of att. positioning and being in the best place to finish won’t be enough if blindfolded Messi is the one trying to assist, of course.

Although the Serie A has been doing well on the previous attributes, they’re really not about Vision, they have only 6 players with 85+ (with 85 or more on this attribute). The champions are the BBVA with 16 players, followed by the BPL with 15.

Making good use of Vision

– The players that assist with long passes will need to find free receivers, so having receivers with high Att. Positioning will give you more chances to score.

– Vision doesn’t have an influence over short passes, after all any player is able to see his teammate in case he’s nearby, whether the short pass is made successfully or not depends exclusively on the Short Passing attribute. On the other hand, Vision is crucial for both long passes and crosses, so do choose players with high Long Passing and Crossing (especially for wingers in this case).

– Vision is extremely important for when choosing your penalty taker. A player with high vision will notice exactly to where the goalkeeper will jump and then try and shoot beyond his reach. Just kidding, that’s nonsense, it was just see if you were paying attention (actually some people do come up with ridiculous things like this making them look like true for attention). Anyway, just don’t consider that.

Conhecendo os Atributos de FIFA 16: Vision
Squads with high Vision
There’s no point in building a team full of players with high Vision because some defending players and other attacking ones don’t need this attribute. Plus, some of the players with the highest Visions are extremely expensive. Our suggestion for today is that you get midfielders and wingers with high Vision but low prices at the same time, that’s it if you just want to try out a “Vision” team. The chosen league was the BBVA for they have the biggest number of players with high stats on here.

Unlike you might have read somewhere around the web, the player being tall won’t make him have better Vision. On the contrary. There’s not a single player who’s 1,90m tall or more with 85+ of Vision, the short ones rule on this attribute.

Normally the players with good Vision also have good Long Passing, but it’s not always that good, Kaká and Ribery for example, although they’re in the 85+ of Vision group, they have just 73 of Long Passing, so in case they miss it’s probably not because of their Vision, but their bad long passing.

FIFA 16 Career Mode: 10 must-buy goalkeepers

You can have the deadliest strikers, the ultimate midfield and a dominant defence, but sometimes in FIFA, things just don’t go your way. Every 50-50 challenge squirts straight back to the opposition. The referee penalises you for perfectly good tackles and doesn’t spot a clear penalty in your favour. As players start to lose their heads, passes go astray and you tackles get wild. These are the games where top-class goalkeepers come into their own, rebuffing all comers like a brick wall in front of the net.

Fortunately, there are plenty of good keepers in this year’s Career Mode, so we’ve rounded up 10 of the best and split them up. The first five are immediate fixes – signings that will come in straight away and do a quality job for you, whilst the second five are more long-term prospects – some of them might be good enough to step straight into your first XI, but with some nurturing they’ll grow into world-class keepers. Take a look!

Thibaut Courtois
Chelsea’s number one hasn’t featured much this season, following a leg injury that kept him out since early September. But despite Chelsea’s struggles this season, no one can doubt Courtois’ quality between the sticks. For starters, he’s over 2m tall, which gives him a big stretch when it comes to keeping shots out of the corners, and makes him a commanding presence in the box. His stats reflect that, too – his positioning and handling are the strongest parts of his game, 88 and 87 respectively, but his reflexes and diving are excellent too. If you can prise the Belgian away from Chelsea, you’ll have yourself a world-class keeper for the next decade, one who grows up to 90 overall.

Manuel Neuer
Neuer has undeniably been the best keeper in the world for a few years now, providing the rock-solid foundation for a Bayern Munich side that has won countless honours in the last four years. He’s already 29 years old, which means that he’s not the long-term investment he once was, but good keepers tend to have a much longer shelf-life than any other position, so he’ll still be quality into at least his mid-30s. He’s 85+ all around the board, with outstanding reflexes and distribution, so If you’re looking for the best keeper in the game, well, you found him.

David De Gea
De Gea has been a man in demand recently. After a shaky start to his Manchester United career, De Gea has grown into arguably the best player at the club, and a man who saves the Red Devils numerous points every season. Like Courtois, he is only 23 and has bags of potential, but his distribution is much better than his Belgian counterpart, and whilst his positioning is better, his handling is a little bit suspect at just 81. Still, you can’t go wrong with either of them, really. De Gea will grow to an 89 overall rating with a bit of time, but if you want him you’ll have to get in there quick – Real Madrid will surely come calling again soon.

FIFA 16 Career Mode: 10 must-buy goalkeepers

Bernd Leno
Bayer Leverkusen’s young German keeper has quietly been going about his business in the Bundesliga for some time, but has recently started to attract the attention of some big European clubs. At just 23, he’s primed for a long and successful career, but he starts at an 84 overall rating which makes him more than good enough for almost any first team. Look at his stats and you’ll see he’s just an all-around quality keeper – 84 diving and handling, 81 kicking, 85 positioning and 83 reflexes – and with all those stats due to grow as he reaches an 88 potential overall rating, Leno is a shrewd purchase for anyone who’s after a long term fixture in their goal.

Hugo Lloris
The Premier League is flush with world-class goalkeepers at the moment, and Lloris has earnt a spot on that list with some outstanding performances for Spurs over the last few years. At 28 years old he’s at the peak of his powers and, probably, his value, but like Neuer he likely has plenty of years in him yet. Lloris is a technically sound keeper, and though his leadership qualities are sadly ignored in this year’s game, his stats are still top notch, and include 88 positioning, 86 diving and 80 plus handling and reflexes. Although the game suggests that he’s reached his potential at 84 overall, we’ve seen Lloris grow further up into the high 80s in Career Mode games before, so he’s far from wasted money. In fact, he’s a very solid pick.

FIFA 16 Career Mode: 10 must-buy goalkeepers

Kepa Arrizabalaga
We’ve mentioned Kepa Arrizabalaga in our look at the must-buy Career Mode Wonderkids, but it’s worth emphasising just how good this young goalkeeper can become in FIFA 16 Career Mode. His stats aren’t awful – his positioning is rated as 83 at the beginning of the game – but he’s nowhere near good enough for your first XI yet. What he does have is a massive amount of potential growth. If you can loan him out effectively Arrizabalaga can grow from 74 to a massive 88 overall, which would put him in the same class as everyone above, except for the 90-rated Neuer. Best of all, grab him early in your career and he’ll cost you peanuts.

Mattia Perin
Perin has long been lauded as a top-class talent, and a potential successor to the enormous-but-fashionable Italian boots of the legendary Gianluigi Buffon. He was a stalwart of Italy’s youth teams before earning a call-up to the national squad in 2014. He’s still plying his trade at Genoa in Serie A, but Perin is young at 23 and already an extremely gifted shot-stopper. At just 81 overall, his reflexes are already a mind-boggling 90, though as you can imagine, his kicking, positioning and handling stats aren’t great as a result. Still, there’s plenty of time to do something about that – Perin will reach 88 overall with some nurturing, though unfortunately there’s nothing you can do about that haircut.

Marc-André ter Stegen
Another of the new generation of German goalies, ter Stegen was snapped up by Barcelona in 2014 and he has proved himself solid enough for the rampant Blaugranas, who just can’t stop scoring these days. That recent transfer to one of the biggest clubs in the world means ter Stegen won’t be available for a modest fee, but he’s worth looking at if you have the cash at your disposal, or you think you can offer Barca an alternative. His reflexes are a little sub-par at just 78, but the rest of his stats are 80+, including an 85 positioning stat which makes him a real commanding presence in the box.

FIFA 16 Attributes: Stamina

And finally the last attribute of this series! Actually we did skip a few small ones, but the idea was to cover the most important attributes for now so that you have some kind of basis for choosing your players.

One of the most underrated FIFA attributes. Admit it, you’ve never even analyzed or picked a player over another by looking at this attribute. Of course just looking at this attribute wouldn’t be enough, but it is in fact an attribute of great importance for some positions. You always think of blaming the game or its bugs the second you concede a 45th or 90th minute goal, right? Stamina is the attribute that usually screws you over in the last minutes of the match, so how about taking a look at it more carefully?

Stamina is the attribute which determines how tired your player gets as the match approaches half time or full time (that’s right, the last minutes of the first half count as well), so in case he runs out of stamina, having excellent attributes won’t be doing much. And don’t think that your player is tired only when he stops to catch his breath, when he gets to this point it actually means he’s stopped playing, his performance starts being affected way before this happens. Stamina is also responsible for your player getting injured more easily in any challenge, not necessarily in the last minutes of the match.

Importance by position depends a lot on how you play, which players you choose, there’s a direct relation between Stamina and Work Rates, because the bigger the area your player covers on the pitch, the more tired he’ll get, so players with High/High work rates must have high Stamina, otherwise they become useless after 30 minutes past on each half. Midfielders always have the necessity to cover more pitch. The fullbacks, although they run through both defending and attacking fields, normally don’t need to be on the other side, that’s why I set medium importance. Low importance only for centre backs with L/H work rates (low for attacking and high for defending).

With 90+ (since too many players have at least 85 of Stamina) both the BPL and the Serie have 20 players, while the super BBVA has only 12, and none of the super stars from there are in this list.

Making good use of Stamina

Choose players who cover less pitch when possible. One or two centre backs with high work rate for defending and low for attacking will help. The same goes for strikers, pick medium or low for defending for them to stay put instead of run the entire pitch like crazy.

If money is not a problem, switch some of your regular cards for their IF, this is an attribute that normally gets a ridiculous bonus that can be up to 10 points.

FIFA 16 Top 10 Strikers

Every position on the football pitch is important. We’ve already made the argument for having a dominant midfield over all else in our best midfielders round-up and sure – your midfield can control an entire game for you. But having all the possession isn’t going to get you anywhere if you don’t have someone to score you some goals.

Even in matches where you’re completely outclassed, one good striker can always give you a chance to snatch a point, or perhaps even three. After all, as beloved football philosopher Michael Owen once said, “Whichever team scores more goals usually wins.” Here are 10 of the best striking options available in FIFA 16 Career Mode, from ready-made foxes in the box to potential superstars.

Robert Lewandowski
Let’s start with the most obvious choice in the striking department. Given that there’s a lack of free-scoring quality strikers in the world at the moment, Lewandowski is certainly the best of them given his relative young age (still only 27 years old) and goalscoring pedigree, and he starts with a massive 87 overall rating if you can prise him from Bayern Munich early in the season. With pace, dribbling, shooting and physical stats all 80+, he’s the game’s best all-round striker, and he’ll score hatfuls for at least another five years.

Neymar
Now, we know that he’s technically a winger in FIFA this year, but as far as we’re concerned, Neymar counts as a forward, and a good one at that. In fact, if money is no object and you’re after someone to bolster your front line for the next decade, Neymar should be your first port of call. Along with Paul Pogba and James Rodríguez, Neymar’s 93 potential is the joint-highest in the game and even at his 88 overall starting point, he’s still a monster. His 80 overall shooting will grow in time, but his 90 pace and 91 dribbling alongside five-star skill moves and five-star weak foot rating makes him indispensable as a striker or a wide-attacker. Sign him up.

Alexandre Lacazette
The French forward has been setting Ligue 1 on fire for a few years now at Lyon, banging in goals for fun and terrorising defences with a combination of tricky skills, electric pace and solid finishing. Thankfully, EA has recognised his quality this year, giving him an 84 overall rating, with 88 pace, 84 dribbling and 84 shooting stats to match, as well as four-star skill moves and a four-star weak foot rating. Here’s the kicker though: Lacazette is only 24 years old, and he’s got plenty of growth left in him, up to a very respectable 88 overall.

 FIFA 16 Top 10 Strikers

Thomas Müller
Ah, Mr Müller, the scourge of English club and national sides alike. It feels like Müller has been around forever but he’s still only 26, believe it or not, which means he’s just entered his best years as a striker. He’s not the paciest striker in this list, but he’s got quality stats all over the board, including 84 overall shooting, 80 passing and surprisingly good jumping and heading stats too. Throw in his 90 stamina and Müller is unquestionably a great signing if you’re after an all-round forward to lead the line for the next four years or so.

Antoine Griezmann
Although he started life as a tricky winger at Real Sociedad, Griezmann has undoubtedly made a permanent and extremely successful transition to an out-and-out striker at Atlético Madrid. He’ll cost you a fair bit of money, probably around the 40 million mark if you want to sign him early on, but given that he’ll rise from an 83 to an 89 overall rating, that sounds like good business to us. His days on the left wing have given him four-star skill moves and some great dribbling and pace stats – both 84 – and he’s a tidy finisher too, though it should be noted that the diminutive striker won’t win many aerial battles for you.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Here’s a man you’ll have heard plenty about this January – Borussia Dortmund’s Gabonese forward has scored a goal a game so far this season, a rich vein of form that saw him win the African Player of the Year in 2015. Although EA don’t have his potential so highly rated (he’ll only grow a couple more points to 84 overall), he’s still worth your time and money. Speed kills in FIFA, and Aubameyang’s 96 acceleration and 95 sprint speed will have opposition defenders in panic mode.

 FIFA 16 Top 10 Strikers

Paco Alcácer
The Spanish striker doesn’t have the same high ratings to begin with as others in this list – he’ll only be 80 overall at the beginning of your Career Mode. He actually starts with really good shooting stats – including positioning, finishing, shot power and volleys all well over 80 – and he grows quickly into a top quality poacher, with enough pace to beat an offside trap and outstanding finishing stats on top. Plus, the beauty of his relatively weak early game means you can get him much cheaper than most of the other strikers on this list. At 22, he’s a perfect signing if you’ve already got a decent striker with a few years left at the top of his game.

Romelu Lukaku
Everton’s Belgian powerhouse has been a solid FIFA Career Mode signing for some years now, but judging by his form this season, EA seem to have underrated him somewhat. His stats are fairly unique as far as FIFA goes, with 80+ physical and pace stats making him an absolute nightmare to deal with right out of the gate. But give him a bit of time – he’s still only 22, by the way – and Lukaku grows into the Drogba-esque line-leader that Chelsea always wanted him to be, with extremely good finishing stats to go with his dominant heading game, hold-up play and decent pace.