Ander Herrera's Rise On FIFA Is Seriously Impressive
Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera produced what may well be his best performance in a red shirt at Old Trafford on Sunday as he completely nullified the threat of Chelsea's Eden Hazard and notched United's second goal in the 2-0 win over the league leaders.
The Spaniard has become an integral part of Jose Mourinho's plans this season and is set to be rewarded with a new £120,000 a week contract.
But his fine and focused performance in the win over Chelsea has also led to him deservedly being named in FIFA's 31st Team of the Week, completing quite the rise for Herrera on different versions of the game.
Seven years ago, a much younger Herrera had an incredibly low rating on the game. He was a silver 68-rated CAM, with 82 short passing, 71 pace and 75 dribbling - which may seem fairly decent - but he also had an atrocious 58 shooting and 52 shot power.
A year later, the Real Zaragoza man broke into the glass ceiling of gold cards and was rated 75. This time he had 80 pace, 76 shooting and 76 passing - not too bad for a non-rare gold player.
After moving to Athletic Bilbao, Herrera saw his rating go up by four when he received a 79-rated card in FIFA 12.
However, his 77-rated card a year on actually looks more impressive on the face of it. Though his shooting went down by six to reach 59, his other attributes increased slightly.
FIFA 14 included three different versions of Herrera. Now awarded a rare card for the first time, he was back up to 79 and had impressive statistics such as 84 dribbling and 78 passing.
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He was also given his first ever in-form on the game, an 80-rated CAM card where his dribbling improved to 86, and his pace stat went up to 83.
Manchester United tried to sign him in the summer of 2013 but a bid was rejected. However, he did put pen to paper when his buyout clause was activated in June 2014 - with EA transferring him to United and giving him a new Ultimate Team card.
The Spaniard maintained his 79 rating in FIFA 15 in his first season in the Premier League, though this time he was back down being a non-rare.
Under Louis van Gaal, Herrera made 31 appearances and scored eight goals from midfield. That form saw him rewarded with his second ever in-form card on FIFA, which was also 80 rated.
He began the 2015/16 campaign as an 81-rated non-rare gold player but just six weeks into the season, Herrera was up to 82 thanks to his CAM in-form card.
Manchester United finished the season in fifth place and winning the FA Cup was not enough for Louis van Gaal to keep his job.
EA Sports kept his rating at 82, this time for his standard card, when FIFA 17 was released. He would then receive an upgrade where his statistics such as 81 passing, 72 passing, 72 shooting and 84 dribbling would remain the season - but he was now 83 rated.
The latest version of Ander Herrera on FIFA completes quite the turnaround from the lowly silver seven years earlier.
The 27-year old's in-form card for scoring and pocketing Eden Hazard last weekend sees him climb to an 85, as well as his game stats getting a boost. 87 dribbling, 78 shooting, 85 passing and 74 physical makes for a very solid Ander Herrera to play with on the game.
He won't come on the cheap though, as at the time of writing, the last refresh from Fut Bin shows that you'll have to cough up just short of 165,000 for Herrera on PS4, or 195,000 onwards on Xbox One.