Who, on the other hand, made the ultimate XI?
If Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are not included.

4-4-2 Formation (Footie Formations)

FIFA has gone card-crazy in recent years.

EA Sports’ infatuation with frequent card promotions has resulted in a plethora of’special cards’ in today’s FIFA games.

From ‘Shapeshifters’ to ‘Winter Wildcards,’ the variety of unique spins available from some of the world’s finest players is virtually endless.

But what about in the past? Packing an 87-rated Manuel Neuer card in FIFA 13 was a reason for celebration rather than a’meh’ as you tossed the controller to the side.

Prior to the promotions, we still had a lot of top-tier FIFA cards that were rated up to around 100 and were guaranteed to raise a ruckus when used against an opponent.

But who were the absolute highest-rated?
Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo do not make the XI.

To be clear,’special cards’ are not considered; rather, the focus is on any FIFA player’s base rating since the game’s beginning.

Take a nostalgic stroll down memory lane.

  • FIFA 05 – GK: Gianluigi Buffon (97)

Isn’t it remarkable that Buffon is still alive and well, appearing in the most recent FIFA World Cup? Even if it was only an 80 out of a possible 97.

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Nonetheless, his longevity is remarkable, and it’s worth noting that when he was at PSG, he was rated an amazing 88 overall on FIFA 19.

  • FIFA 05 – RB: Lilian Thuram (92)

The French World Cup winner is the team’s lowest ranked player, but he still gives outstanding value at right-back.

He was a great player in his day, especially while he played at Juventus and Barcelona.

  • FIFA 05 – CB: Alessandro Nesta (94)

If we had told you that an AC Milan defender from the 2000s had made the cut, you would have assumed we were talking about Paolo Maldini.

However, it is his trustee deputy, Nesta, who stands out from the crowd. He was perhaps at his best at this point in his career, as he helped Milan win the Serie A title while conceding only 24 goals in the process.

  • FIFA 02 – CB: Fernando Hierro (94)

Hierro, a former Real Madrid and – cough, cough – Bolton star, established the standard for all defenders across FIFA with his 94 rating in 2002.

  • FIFA 05 – LB: Roberto Carlos (94)

Isn’t it true that the 2005 edition adored its defenders?

Carlos is a natural fit for the left side of the defense, not that you’d want to do any defending with him on your team.

Much like if you were fortunate enough – or dare we say, sweated enough – to obtain his icon card in a more current version of FIFA.

  • FIFA 02 – RM: Luis Figo (97)

This period of footballing history is truly Figo’s. Despite being Barcelona’s captain at the time, the Portuguese legend switched to arch-rivals Real Madrid in 2000.

In the following year, Figo won the 2000 Ballon d’Or for his efforts in his final season in Catalonia, was essential in Real Madrid winning the La Liga in his debut season, and was then named the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year.

It’s no surprise that he got a perfect score of 97.

  • FIFA 03 – CM: Matteo Brighi (97)

Who is it, and how high are they? If you’re thinking along such lines, take a deep breath.

Brighi was the highest rated player on FIFA 03 after being named Serie A Young Player of the Year while on loan at Bologna the previous season.

We have no idea why FIFA decided he should be classified as a 97-rated player…

Before retiring in 2019, he was a bit of a nomad, moving from one Italian team to the next.

  • FIFA 05 – CM: Zinedine Zidane (96)

To Zidane, Brighi? FIFA, kudos…

Many fanatical football fans see Zizou as a god, and this was true even when he was on the field.

He did, after all, lead France to the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championships in 2000.

He has just been named to the 2004 Euros Team of the Tournament in this issue of FIFA.

  • FIFA 04 – ST: Ronaldo (98)

For a base card, a 98-rating? R9 was a truly unique character.

We can’t deny that having the highest FIFA rating of all time makes us happy.

  • FIFA 05 – ST: Thierry Henry (97)

It’s only right that the Premier League’s uncontested monarch represents his club.

Henry is the only player in the XI who was playing on English soil at the time the rating was issued, and given how much damage he was causing for the Gunners at the time, it’s no wonder that he has a 97 overall rating.