Lionel Messi's FIFA rating history

Tom Gott
Messi is one of the best players in FIFA history
Messi is one of the best players in FIFA history / PAU BARRENA/GettyImages

Lionel Messi was first added to FIFA back in 2005 shortly after his breakthrough to the Barcelona first team, and he hasn't looked back since.

A multi-time owner of the highest rating in the game, Messi has boasted some of the best Ultimate Team cards in FIFA history.

Here's a look back at his rating history.

1. FIFA 06 - 78

Lionel Messi, Tim Borowski
Messi was just starting out at this point / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

An 18-year-old Messi boasted 88 dribbling and 87 acceleration when he made his debut in the FIFA series.

A modest rating of 78 signalled his emergence as an intriguing young player with a lot of room to grow, but it wouldn't be long before his rating started to rise.

2. FIFA 07 - 84

Up to 84 for his second FIFA appearance...and a 3* weak foot.

His Career Mode potential was up at 94 by this point, and understandably so after he bagged 14 goals in 26 games in 2006/07.

3. FIFA 08 - 86

Messi secured a +2 upgrade to an 86 for FIFA 08, as well as a +11 boost to his goalkeeper handling stats. Obviously.

His best stats: Dribbling (95), Acceleration (95), Sprint Speed (95), Ball Control (94) and Short Pass (90).

4. FIFA 09 - 90

The first time Messi would hit 90 would be in FIFA 09. To this day, he is yet to fall back under that rating.

He'd end up finishing second in the Ballon d'Or ratings in 2008, shortly after this game was released, so you knew an upgrade was coming.

5. FIFA 10 - 90

Messi would start FIFA 10 Career Mode as a 90 but, by the time Ultimate Team was released, he had already jumped up to a 91.

A further two upgrades would come his way and Messi would end the game as a 95 overall.

6. FIFA 11 - 90

Despite winning his first Ballon d'Or during the previous game cycle, Messi would retain his 90 rating for FIFA 11, which was still good enough to make him the best player on the game.

Before the year was up, Messi would earn four special cards, the highest of which sat at 96.

7. FIFA 12 - 94

Lionel Messi
Messi was on fire this year / LLUIS GENE/GettyImages

A big jump up to 94 for Messi, who was still the best player on the game at this point - 2 ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The introduction of Team of the Year and Team of the Season handed Messi 98 and 99 overall cards, the latter of which had 99 pace, 99 passing, 99 shooting and 99 dribbling. Not bad.

8. FIFA 13 - 94

Messi would keep that 94 rating for FIFA 13, with a minor boost to shooting and passing but a small drop-off in dribbling.

It was at this point that Ronaldo started to win the Ballon d'Or battle, but Messi won the ratings war.

9. FIFA 14 - 94

Ah, the Victor Ibarbo year.

When you weren't busy throwing your controller through the wall as the Colombian wheeled away in celebration, you were in awe of Messi's 94 base card.

10. FIFA 15 - 93

Messi's rating would drop one as Ronaldo won consecutive Ballons d'Or in 2013 and 2014, but he would remain atop the charts for a little while longer.

His base card was still a CF but this was the first time since FIFA 11 that we saw a special Messi card at RW, opening up a whole new world of Ultimate Team possibilities.

11. FIFA 16 - 94

Back to 94 and now a permanent RW, this was arguably Messi's finest FIFA year.

His 99 Team of the Year card was part of Pack Opening history.

12. FIFA 17 - 93

A blonde-haired Messi dropped back down to 93 this season as Ronaldo took the honour of being FIFA 17's best player.

While his shooting and dribbling went up slightly from the previous year, Messi saw a -3 drop in pace which took his stat under 90 for the first time in FUT history.

13. FIFA 18 - 93

Lionel Messi
Just the 8 special cards for Messi this year / Power Sport Images/GettyImages

The special cards came flying in for Messi in FIFA 18.

He began the game as a 93-rated RW but would see cards at CF and ST, although he had to settle for two 98 cards as his best.

14. FIFA 19 - 94

Deservedly back up to 94, FIFA 19 was the first to feature three 99 cards for Messi.

His Team of the Year was a CF and his Team of the Knockout Stage came in at a 99 overall RW, but the best of them all was the RW Team of the Season card.

15. FIFA 20 - 94

Now back ahead of Ronaldo following his departure from Real Madrid, Messi saw another drop to his pace this year as he ended up with 87 on his base card.

He got two more 99 cards, however, so he probably didn't care.

16. FIFA 21 - 93

Messi's final year with Barcelona saw him handed a 93 overall card which, yet again, featured another drop in pace. Father Time was coming for him at this point.

Ronaldo was his closest competitor this year, as was Robert Lewandowski, both of whom came in at 92.

17. FIFA 22 - 93

Messi moved to PSG this year and was rewarded with yet another 93-rated card which kept him atop the pile for one more year.

Things didn't go well at club level, unfortunately, and Messi was always set for a downgrade in FIFA 23.

18. FIFA 23 - 91

Lionel Messi
Messi remains the best player on FIFA 23 / Catherine Steenkeste/GettyImages

Messi is still the best player on FIFA 23, but this time, he's matched by four more players.

Kevin De Bruyne, Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema all match his rating this year as Messi drops down to 81 pace and sub-90 shooting for the first time since FIFA 16.