With the official announcement of Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Juventus today, we can now examine the impact of the move across the world of football. In FIFA, specifically, players should brace themselves for an impact on the franchise that extends well beyond the jersey the superstar will grace the cover of FIFA 19 with.
Though some would worry this would throw a wrench into things, it’s not EA’s first rodeo and while an inconvenience, producing an alternate cover with CR7 in Juve gear is only a minor road hump in the grand scheme of things.
In terms of a more immediate impact on the FIFA franchise, EA will introduce a Juventus Ronaldo card into FIFA 18 FUT like we’ve seen for other Summer Window transferred players. While most Gold cards don’t have much life at this point in the game cycle, Serie A fans will now have the option of sliding a Ronaldo into their side without any Chemistry concerns. Looking ahead at the next installment of FIFA, however, Ronaldo’s move to the Serie A changes a lot about the landscape of squad building going forward.
Arguably the game’s most dangerous attacking item, Ronaldo will no longer link up with premium Meta players like Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Gareth Bale. Instead, players who want to use Ronaldo without the luxury of linking him up with Icons, will need to look for serviceable options in the Serie A or Portuguese nation to get the forward on full chem.
This should have a significant impact on the FIFA 19 market, especially considering how the Serie A has been considered a budget league in FUT in recent installments. Strong links like Paulo Dybala, if he stays at Juventus, along with the likes of Juan Cuadrado, could be significantly more expensive at the start of FIFA 19 with Ronaldo’s move. Ronaldo’s presence in the Serie A could keep prices of players like Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Radja Nainggolan, and Giorgio Chiellini high through TOTS.
In the same vein, La Liga Santander players could see a change in their prices as well without the links to Ronaldo. Could we see Messi and Suarez (assuming he doesn’t move himself), dip in popularity a hair in FIFA 19 without that extra bit of super-team potential? It’s worth monitoring.
It remains to be seen what EA will elect to do with Ronaldo regarding their Ones to Watch promotion in FUT. Dynamic items for newly transferred players is one of their most popular promos and it would be difficult to see them not bend their age limit of 30 (for the most part) for their cover star. We could, however, see something unique to Ronaldo:
He’s a magnet for special items and a dynamic Ronaldo could be among the most expensive ones we’ve seen in FUT history. While it likely wouldn’t upgrade to potential TOTY or TOTS items, there’s a chance that the item reaches 97 or 98 overall throughout the season with other non-TOTY/TOTS promos.
The reported transfer fee of roughly €100 million could have an impact on how business is done in Career Mode as well. Previously, it’s been extremely difficult to pry away players like Ronaldo, Messi, or Neymar from their respective clubs without hundreds of millions of pounds/euros, typically at a mega-club. It’s possible that with Neymar and Ronaldo moving in consecutive summers could make EA reexamine how business is conducted in Career Mode in FIFA 19. While some updates were made in FIFA 18 with the implementation of release clauses and some other financial tweaks, there is room for improvement, and we now have a precedent for how stars will change clubs going forward in the pricey transfer market.
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