Here are three players whose performances in the last twelve months warrant a second-look from the decision-makers behind football’s biggest videogame.
The Westfield Matildas’ player ratings for the EA Sports FIFA 21 video-game were recently released, with captain Sam Kerr (92) taking out second spot behind FIFA Women’s Player of the Year Megan Rapinoe (93).
The FIFA 21 list also saw two Westfield Matildas make their ratings debuts, with Real Betis defender Jenna McCormick and Arna-Bjørnar goalkeeper Teagan Micah making their first appearances with 67 and 66 respectively.
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But, as always, some will disagree with the ratings EA Sports has given some of Australia’s best and brightest.
Ellie Carpenter (77)
After a breakout season with Portland Thorns in the United States’ NWSL and an impressive FIFA Women’s World Cup debut in 2019, Ellie Carpenter’s form and reputation has continued to grow.
Following a successful season with Melbourne City in the Westfield W-League, the full-back secured a dream move to seven-time European Champions Olympique Lyonnais in June.
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Widely regarded as one of Australia’s brightest young talents, Carpenter’s recent trophy cabinet speaks for itself: 2019-20 Westifleld W-League Premiership/Championship double with Melbourne City, a French Cup and a UEFA Women’s Champions League trophy, all in the space of six months.
While she climbed two points from last year’s game, Carpenter’s performances for both club and country suggest her current rating of 77 underestimates what she’s truly capable of.
Emily van Egmond (79)
While she may not have had the FIFA Women’s World Cup that she’d hoped, Emily van Egmond found a new lease on her footballing life alongside Carpenter at Melbourne City, where she was given the creative freedom she’d become known for.
And she more than repaid that license, winning her first Golden Boot as well as topping the league for most passes in the opposition half. She also recorded more touches in the opposition box in the 2019/20 season than she had in two previous Westfield W-League campaigns combined.
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Van Egmond translated that improved form into her national team performances, playing a key role in the Westfield Matildas’ AFC Olympic Qualifiers earlier this year, scoring her first international hat-trick against Thailand as well as the crucial equaliser against China that ensured Australia a safer route through to Tokyo.
The midfielder dropped down by a point in this year’s FIFA game, but her form and influence in every team she’s played in surely ought to see van Egmond back up in the 80s bracket.
Aivi Luik (68)
Earning her first FIFA Women’s World Cup cap last year at the age of 34, Aivi Luik has been part of Australian football for over a decade, including as part of the Westfield Matildas squad that won the nation’s first Asian Cup back in 2010.
Across this time, Luik has become one of the most-travelled Westfield Matildas players, plying her trade for thirteen different clubs in eight different countries.
Despite dropping in and out of the national team, Luik has remained one of Australia’s most consistent defensive midfielders, showing that she’s far from finished after starting every game for Melbourne City in their historic Premiership/Championship double last Westfield W-League season.
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Now in her second stint in Spain with Sevilla, following on from her 26 appearances for Levante in 2018-19, Luik will likely play a bigger role in the national team’s upcoming friendlies after midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight was sidelined with injury earlier this year.
While she hasn’t been a consistent starter for the Westfield Matildas in the last twelve months, Luik’s contributions to her clubs have been some of the most impressive and consistent across the national team.
This begs the question of why EA Sports does not take club form into account in the women’s version of FIFA as much as they do for the men’s version. Perhaps if FIFA 22 features women’s club football, we’ll see Luik’s play ratings bumped up to reflect how important a player she really is.