Lionel Messi is the best player in FIFA 21 (ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo)

(Image credit: EA)

For the second year running Lionel Messi has overcome longstanding rival Cristiano Ronaldo to be named digitised football's best player. FIFA 21's top 100 Ultimate Team ratings were revealed today, and the Argentine winger nabs first place with an overall score of 93 to Ronaldo's 92.

The news is big, but not overly surprising. Ronaldo's club, Juventus, are unlicensed and renamed in FIFA 21, and EA was never going to have its top player attached to a side wearing pretend strips. So Leo wins out again, no doubt triggering another social media brouhaha among devotees of the last decade's best two players.

(Image credit: EA)

Third place on the FIFA 21 ratings list brings a bigger surprise, though a justified one. After notching 61 goals in 57 games, and steering his club to Champions League and Bundesliga titles, FC Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski knocks PSG winger Neymar out of the top three. The Brazilian slips to fifth place in the rankings, with Manchester City talisman Kevin de Bruyne sandwiched between that pair.

The best goalkeeper in this year's game is Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak, with an overall rating of 91. There's no shock with regards to its best defender: imperious at the back in Liverpool's 2019-20 title win, Dutch international Virgil van Dijk scores that honour by way of a 90 OVR.

Van Dijk's club-mates are inevitably scattered through the top 50. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Alisson earn 90 ratings, while Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino all nab 87s.

FIFA 21 is released on Friday 9 October.

Ben Wilson

I'm GamesRadar's sports editor, and obsessed with NFL, WWE, MLB, AEW, and occasionally things that don't have a three-letter acronym – such as Chvrches, Bill Bryson, and Streets Of Rage 4. (All the Streets Of Rage games, actually.) Even after three decades I still have a soft spot for Euro Boss on the Amstrad CPC 464+.