Kyle Walker is well known for being one of the fastest players in the Premier League. The Manchester City right back regularly hits speeds of over 20 mph and it ’s his lightning pace that briefly saw him at war with EA Sports - the makers of the FIFA football simulator video game.
With each instalment of the FIFA game, every player gets their ratings for things like passing, shooting and pace updated. The FIFA 22 ratings database has just been updated and Man City fans will have been alarmed to see that Walker only earned 78 points out of a possible 100 for his pace. However, this was all a prank and the defender was actually awarded a much more credible 92 for pace.
Such was the outrage that normally mild-manner midfield genius Kevin De Bruyne was forced to say, ‘That ’s a fake one, no? This guy is the quickest person in the world! ’ Record Manchester City signing Jack Grealish joined in the outcry and even went as far as saying that Walker ’s speed rating was, ‘muggy. ’ Plus with talented youngster Phil Foden even reportedly storming off set after seeing the verdict, it looked for a moment like EA Sports might not have won themselves any friends at the Etihad Stadium.
But it ’s not just Manchester City that have been bamboozled by the new FIFA ratings. All over the footballing world, players and clubs are getting fairly sensitive about how they ’ve been rated. From speculation in the Leeds United camp to the latest ratings of Messi against Ronaldo, it ’s clear that this is now a major talking point of modern football.
Of course, such ratings are merely the speculation of a few self-appointed football experts at EA Sports, but there is no denying the fact that they can have a dramatic impact on the morale and perception of any footballer featured. Just like the betting odds for Australians can tell you a lot about what ’s mostly like to happen in a sporting encounter, the latest FIFA ratings can reveal plenty about whether an individual player is on their way up or down. Thankfully, the prank was quickly revealed and Manchester City fans can rest easy in the knowledge that they have one of the fastest players in the Premier League.
Walker ’s grit and determination
All Man City fans will know that Kyle Walker isn ’t the kind of player to let a few confused FIFA ratings get him down. The defender has already received plenty of criticism for his hedonistic lifestyle, and he ’ll know just how valued he is by both Pep Guardiola and the England boss, Gareth Southgate.
Walker was the oldest member of the England 2020 Euros squad, but he proved to be pivotal in the team ’s progression to the final. The sight of Walker chasing after the equally speedy Thomas Muller of Germany revealed that the English defender had the pace to match the best in the world.
Not that Walker is all about sheer speed. He managed to complete no less than 136 of his 154 passes at the Euros, and he formed a commanding figure in the England squad. While there was no shortage of quality competition for the right back spot, Walker has managed to make the position his own thanks to his enviable blend of speed and strength.
However, the 31-year old will still be feeling the pain of that rare defensive lapse that saw Poland get a late equaliser against England in the World Cup qualifiers. It wasn ’t entirely Walker ’s fault as the Polish striker carried out a truly stunning turn, but it will cast doubt about whether Walker has the consistency to deliver the goods.
Thankfully Walker has managed to make the right back role his own at Manchester City, and is sure to be a big part of Pep Guardiola ’s plans to retain the Premier League title and gain that elusive Champions League trophy.