While concrete gameplay details remain scarce like a Huddersfield Town clean sheet, FIFA 20 player faces are already the talk of the community. EA’s series is famed for packing in every real team and kit imaginable, but despite strong efforts it’s never quite so comprehensive on the player likeness front. New ones are added every year – yet it’s the famous faces that don’t get updated which cause its fanbase to rage.
To that end, I’ve combed thousands of in-game faces to come up with this list of players who need makeover. In some cases, such as Hector Bellerin and Fernando Moreintes, updates are long overdue. In others, like Paul Pogba, ever-changing hairstyles present unique challenges which I’ll get to shortly. Last year Wilf Zaha and Jesse Lingard effected change by lobbying EA on Twitter. These guys who may soon need to do the same where FIFA 20 player faces are concerned.
Presnel Kimpembe (Paris SG)
PSG’s French defender gained notoriety this season by conceding the VAR handball which saw Manchester United qualify for the Champions League quarter finals – but you didn’t need to be an in-studio official to spot that his peroxide-blonde barnet is a goner. Kimpembe’s face still looks right, but a new ‘do for FIFA 20 is essential.
Ander Herrera (Manchester United)
Herrera in real life: supremely athletic central midfielder whose abilities have seen him linked with a summer move to Paris St Germain following the expiry of his contract at United. Herrera in FIFA 19: depressed dad coming to terms with losing custody of his kids by eating four McDonald’s a day in a Trafford Centre car park.
Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)
The Gunners’ right-back underwent successful surgery to repair a ruptured ACL in January. This summer he needs similar reconstructive work on his digital likeness. Bellerin switched to a ‘je ne sais quoi’ man-bun hairstyle in early 2017, yet two-and-a-half years later we’re still waiting for it to be replicated in-game.
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
City’s club record goalscorer went the opposite way of Kimpembe this season, dying his hair blonde en route to yet another campaign of both individual and team glory. Yet his in-game likeness remains ‘blessed’ with a mohawk last sported in 2016, and has had fans clamouring for an update ever since.
Pablo Zabaleta (West Ham United)
No, you’re not hallucinating. Yes, that is the West Ham club captain – and former Manchester City favourite – with a full head of hair. Eight years after his follicles last felt furry, the Argentine right-back still sports a bristling barnet in FIFA 19, despite multiple opportunities to be re-scanned. Surely this is the year when the digital clippers come out.
Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Pogba’s hairstyle changes with such regularity that it could justifiably form its own DLC pack – and given EA’s love of micro-transactions I probably shouldn’t have typed that out loud. The blonde streak sported in FIFA 19 disappeared well before last year’s World Cup win, and needs to be washed out ahead of next season.
Fernando Llorente (Tottenham Hotspur)
Spurs’ Spaniard striker may well have the worst of all official licenses in FIFA 19. He looked vaguely like this during the Atletico Bilbao era – but that ended six years ago, and he’s since played for Juve, Sevilla and Swansea ahead of his White Hart Lane spell. We’re livin’ on a prayer than the Jon Bon Jovi look will be gone once FIFA 20 player faces are installed.
Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur)
Llorente’s main rival for the end-of-season ‘worst FIFA face’ award is his North London club-mate and Champions League semi-final hero. Moura’s starhead is staggeringly generic, as if sketched by a Parisian street artist before his move to Spurs – rather than scanned using EA’s high-end face tech. In a word: merde.
Mo Salah (Liverpool)
Anfield’s wing wonder received a fresh likeness ahead of the 2018 World Cup on the back of a season in which he netted 702 goals, or near enough. While an improvement on the short-haired genero-man it replaced, there’s still something less than 100-per-cent about its jaw sharpness and hair waviness. Yes, those are scientific terms.
Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona)
The World Cup runner-up is now one of the most finely coiffed Croatians in sport after five years spent in Barcelona’s stylish surroundings, yet his lank in-game locks are straight out of WWE 2K13’s character creator. With Barca’s official Pro Evo tie-in ending this summer, perhaps FIFA 20 will see the entire team re-scanned. In which case…
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Cover star of FIFA 13, 14, 15 and 16, Konami’s exclusivity contract with Barcelona saw Messi flip to fronting rival series Pro Evo, and his in-game likeness has naturally suffered as a result. Assuming EA stumps up the cash to work with Barca again, there’s a chance Messi is restored to the front of the box this year. A fresh starhead would then be guaranteed.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea)
Oh dear. The bright central-midfield hope of both Stamford Bridge and the England national side, RLC sports a face that could front a thousand boybands in real life – but one that’d be rejected from X-Factor without singing a note in FIFA. A holdover from his youth team days, those curly ends should be gone in FIFA 20 now he’s a national team regular.
Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Maybe I’m being overly hopeful regarding Loftus-Cheek. England team-mate Walker is now one of the squad’s senior pros having racked up 46 appearances in the Three Lions, yet remains lumbered with a likeness more than half a decade old. If three trophies in a single season don’t trigger a fresh FIFA scan, then nothing will.
Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace)
Last season Palace winger Wilfried Zaha got his FIFA 19 likeness changed during the season by lobbying EA on social media. Perhaps it’s a tactic left-flank comrade van Aanholt needs to emulate to get this long-outmoded FIFA face made over. Especially if it stops him arguing with the club’s fans over supporting Liverpool in the CL semi-final.
Marco Arnautovic (West Ham United)
Like Pogba, the Hammers’ unpredictable – and argumentative – Austrian is tricky to get right season given his propensity for changing hairstyles on a whim. But an expressionless face which vaguely looks like him isn’t the solution. A deal with his tattoo artist(s) to get those heavily inked arms accurate would be a start.
Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)
The Belgian striker’s face isn’t too badly replicated, but that grandad hairstyle has never felt right – did he ever look like this in real life? His representative his talked up a move to Barcelona or Real Madrid, so if EA’s remote scanning team hasn’t nabbed its man yet, the Easyjet desk at Manchester airport might be a good place to set up for the summer.
Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
Even at 29, the English stopper’s babyface continues to keep his appearance youthful – although not quite to the extent that FIFA 19 does. In-game, he looks 12. Partly that’s because he was much younger when initially scanned, but an outdated haircut also takes years off. However dodgy, Smalling’s ‘cornrow x bantu knot’ look needs adding next year.
Nabil Fekir (Lyon)
Time to bid curtains to Fekir’s curtains. The Lyon skipper is another whose face is adequate, yet nonetheless looks out of date because of a years-old hairstyle. At least he has a scan, unlike team-mates such as Tanguy Ndombele, Houssem Aouar, Ferland Mendy and Jason Denayer. All are overdue a proper starhead once FIFA 20 player faces drop..
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Like Salah, Griezmann was given an updated, close-cropped likeness for the Official World Cup 2018 DLC – only to have his headbanded longer locks reintroduced when FIFA 19 landed. Yet neither of those looks are current, with the Frenchman most recently rocking an ‘80s-tennis-player-dragged-through-a-bush vibe.
Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur)
The Spurs full-back isn’t one to go all Chris Smalling with the out-there hair, but it has tended to be longer in recent seasons than when he started out – yet this has never triggered an in-game update. Like Moura and Morientes, you’d hope qualifying for the CL final would inspire EA to refresh all Tottenham likenesses, with Harry Kane and Kieran Trippier next in line.
FIFA 20 is expected on every format imaginable in September. For more, check out the 11 FIFA 20 features most wanted by its community.