Cristiano Ronaldo's remarkable FIFA transformation between Man Utd exit and surprise return
Cristiano Ronaldo is once again one of the highest-rated players available in FIFA this year, despite receiving a third successive downgrade to his player rating.
The 36-year-old striker returned to Manchester United this summer, after leaving Juventus and has made an instant impact under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, scoring twice on his second debut at Old Trafford against Newcastle United.
EA Sports revealed the top 22 highest-rated players on FIFA 22 on Monday, with Lionel Messi (93) and Robert Lewandowski (92) both rated higher than Ronaldo on, whilst Jan Oblak, Kevin De Bruyne and Paris Saint Germain duo, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, are also the same rating as the Portuguese ace at 91 overall.
Let's look at how Ronaldo's FIFA rating and in-game position has transformed over the last decade or more.
Cristiano Ronaldo's player ratings from FIFA 10 to FIFA 22
Ronaldo's first FIFA Ultimate Team card came after his summer move to Real Madrid in 2009, as the Portuguese superstar was given a 93 overall rating as a right-winger in FIFA 10.
This made him the highest-rated base card in the game, and two overall ratings higher than Messi's base card in FIFA 10.
Ronaldo's FIFA 10 base card had 92 pace, 93 dribbling, 89 shooting, 88 physical and 79 passing, making the best-attacking player in FIFA Ultimate Team, prior to later upgrades given to Messi and David Villa that saw Ronaldo fall to be the fourth highest-rated player at the end of the game cycle.
In FIFA 11, Ronaldo suffered a significant downgrade to an 89 overall rating, whilst remaining as a right-winger on the game.
However, Ronaldo did receive three inform special player cards throughout FIFA 11's game cycle, with two of those special cards changing his position to a left-winger, a position he would later change to in-game as his default base card position.
FIFA 12 saw Ronaldo's position change to a left-winger, as well as an increase in his base card overall rating to 92 overall.
Following on from FIFA 12, Ronaldo's base card stayed 92-rated and as a left-winger for FIFA 13, FIFA 14 and FIFA 15, until he eventually received a +1 boost to his overall rating in FIFA 16.
Whilst his pace stat had started to decline, it was in FIFA 16 where EA Sports released an updated striker version of Ronaldo's 93 overall rated base card, to replicate the position he was playing for Real Madrid, allowing FIFA players to use him centrally in their teams.
Ronaldo received another boost to his overall rating in FIFA 17, yet returned to be a left-winger as his default position, before EA Sports repeated their actions from FIFA 16 in FIFA 18, giving Ronaldo a left-wing base card and releasing a striker version of the Portuguese superstar's card later during the game cycle when his move to Juventus was confirmed.
Ronaldo did receive multiple special card upgrades throughout FIFA 18, with his position changing from a LW to ST in the majority of them after he moved more centrally for Real Madrid.
Ronaldo has remained a striker in the FIFA series since FIFA 18, yet his overall rating has declined by -1 overall rating every year since FIFA 19.
In FIFA 20, Ronaldo's card stats started to decline as he fell to a 93 overall rated card, before declining further to a 92 in FIFA 21.
In FIFA 21, the 36-year-old's pace stat finally dropped below 90 for the first time in FIFA history, as EA Sports continued to downgrade Ronaldo further and further.
His latest player rating in FIFA 22 is a 91 overall, with 87 pace, 88 dribbling, 93 shooting, 82 passing and 75 physical, and is now only the joint third-highest rated card available for players to use in their Ultimate Team.
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi's rating has remained the same as his FIFA 21 player rating, suggesting EA Sports see Messi as the best player in the world.
Do you think Cristiano Ronaldo deserved a downgrade in FIFA 22? Let us know in the comments!