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FIFA 18: Cristiano Ronaldo’s journey from obscurity to cover star is incredible

We take a look through FIFA to see just how much the Portuguese legend has improved over the years

Cristiano Ronaldo may be the FIFA 18 cover star – but there was a day where he wasn’t the global superstar we see today – in both real-life and the video game.


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In fact, if his evolution through the latter is anything to go by, some years he’d likely be left on the bench – although we doubt you’ll be doing that in FIFA 18.

We take a look through FIFA to see just how much Ronaldo has improved or, in some cases, declined.

FIFA 04

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Here’s where it all began for young Ronaldo – and he’s far from the player we see today.

In fact, with a pace of just 69 – he’s not yet even developed his blistering speed. Shot power is promising, though, at 77.

Passing and dribbling is already strong at 84, while there are some signs that his heading ability has potential with 76.

That face, though…

FIFA 05

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There’s a leap in many areas as Ronaldo begins to make his mark at Manchester United.

Pace is up to a whopping 93, skill gets 88 and acceleration is at 91.

Heading ability climbs to 82 while shot power gets 84.

It still looks nothing like him.

FIFA 06

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Finally, the Portuguese gets an overall rating… and at 91, he’s already a force to be reckoned with.

Pace is up to 93, while dribbling and ball control both get 95.

He’s quicker off the mark, too, with acceleration now at 95.

Shot power and heading ability drop a point.

FIFA 07

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For the first time in the series, Ronaldo drops to an 87 overall rating.

Acceleration takes a big hit, down from 95 to 91.

Shot power continues to drop and now sits at 80.

Finishing ability is an above-average 71, but he’s still a world away from being lethal in front of goal.

FIFA 08

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Ronaldo’s overall rating climbs back into the 90s again.

Despite the fact he’s heavier, his speed is up a point at 94.

Finishing takes a huge jump to 85, shot power is up to 90 while acceleration is back up to 95.

Free kick ability is 88 – making him a reliable set-piece taker.

It still looks nothing like him.

FIFA 09

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Perhaps the most minimal changes so far for Ronaldo. His overall rating stays at 91.

He’s slimmed down again, now coming in at 79kg. He’s still just as fast.

Ball control is marginally better but the biggest gains are seen in finishing and free kicks, which sit at 92 and 94 respectively.

If you want to score a free kick with Ronaldo, this is the year to do it.

FIFA 10

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Minimal changes again this year apart from his overall rating is now at 89.

He’s lost a bit more weight, but has slowed down slightly with a speed rating of 92.

Free kick ability dips to 88, finishing is down to 90 and shot power drops a point.

FIFA 11

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Finally, Ronaldo starts looking how he should – but his overall rating dips again.

Acceleration is up slightly at 93, while speed gets 94.

Shot power is the highest its been with 93 while finishing drops again to 89.

Jumping is at 91 and agility is at 94.

FIFA 12

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Ronaldo is back into the 90s – with his highest rating yet, 92.

He’s slower off the mark, but has kept his overall pace.

Shot power remains at 93, and ball control stays at 95.

Free kick accuracy is down slightly at 87.

FIFA 13

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Minimal changes this year, with Ronaldo’s overall rating staying at 92.

Finishing gets another point, but free kick accuracy is down again at 79.

FIFA 14

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Ronaldo keeps the same overall rating for another year.

He’s quicker off the mark by one point but overall speed remains the same.

Finishing has improved by one point, and shot power is the highest its been with 94.

FIFA 15

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Minimal changes this year, with Ronaldo keeping his overall rating.

He’s just as fast but now more clinical at finishing, with a lethal 95.

Free kick accuracy is still relatively low at 79, though.

FIFA 16

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For the first time in a few years, Ronaldo jumps a point in his overall rating.

He’s lost a bit of speed, down a point, while his dribbling ability takes a hit with 90.

FIFA 17

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The Portuguese climbs again in his overall rating – becoming the highest-rated player in the game with 94.

The 31-year-old has managed to keep his speed at an impressive 92, but also improve his dribbling ability.

Passing climbs to 81, making Ronaldo the complete attacking package.

FIFA 18

You can your hands on the new Fifa for free, honestly!

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Ronaldo’s speed is starting to decrease with age

Now 32 years old, Ronaldo keeps his 94 rating, despite a few stats taking a hit.

Speed is down to 90, and dribbling falls to 91.

Shooting gets a boost to 92, while passing climbs to 81.

There’s no doubt he’s still one of the game’s best players but perhaps his star is starting to wane… on FIFA, anyway.