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The FUT Report: What's new in FIFA 18's World Cup mode?

13:42 GMT+4 30/06/2018
FIFA 18 World Cup update
In part two of the series, Goal looks at the changes in EA's latest football release as business continues in Russia

Welcome back, gamers!

By now the majority of you will have your teeth sunk firmly into both the World Cup proper and FIFA 18's shiny new game mode.

A fair few things have changed since part one of the FUT report, so let's take a look at what's going on both in real life and in game.

The Story So Far

In Russia, the group stages have wrapped up and the round of 16 clashes are set – but not everything went as many had imagined.

The hosts got the tournament off with a bang, winning 5-0 against Saudi Arabia on the opening day, which helped Russia progress to the knock-outs. A half-fit Mohamed Salah did what he could for Egypt, but it wasn't enough as nine-point Uruguay joined Russia in moving on.

Croatia surprised a few in joining Uruguay and Belgium as the three sides that won of all their group games, while Argentina scraped by with the skin of their teeth after being saved by the great Lionel Messi and a late goal from Marcos Rojo.

The biggest shock by far, however, was Germany, who struggled throughout and picked up only one win thanks to a last-gasp free-kick strike from Toni Kroos against Sweden.

Heading into the next round, the match-ups look like so:

New Players Added

So what's new in the game?

Given EA released the free World Cup mode on May 29, over two weeks before the start of the tournament, there was always going to be some tweaks.

The main ones, of course, would be the late additions – a whole 62 of them. Full list below:

Player Team Player Team
Nicolás Tagliafico Argentina Majid Hosseini Iran
Cristian Ansaldi Argentina Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh Iran
Franco Armani Argentina Jeong Seung Hyun Korea Republic
Cristian Pavón Argentina Lee Seung Woo Korea Republic
Giovani Lo Celso Argentina Ayoub El Kaabi Morocco
Brad Jones Australia Joel Obi Nigeria
Andrew Nabbout Australia Bryan Idowu Nigeria
Dimitri Petratos Australia Bartosz Białkowski Poland
Daniel Arzani Australia Dawid Kownacki Poland
Adnan Januzaj Belgium Manuel Fernandes Portugal
José Izquierdo Colombia Mário Rui Portugal
José Cuadrado Colombia Rúben Dias Portugal
Jefferson Lerma Colombia Artem Dzyuba Russia
Ian Smith Costa Rica Sergey Ignashevich Russia
Marwan Mohsen Egypt Mohamed Kanno Saudi Arabia
Mohamed El-Shenawy Egypt Ali Al Bulayhi Saudi Arabia
Ashley Young England Abdullah Al Khaibari Saudi Arabia
Fabian Delph England Sergej Milinković-Savić Serbia
Nick Pope England Andrija Živković Serbia
Trent Alexander-Arnold England Luka Jović Serbia
Ruben Loftus-Cheek England Nemanja Radonjić Serbia
Steven N'Zonzi France Marko Grujić Serbia
Lucas Hernández France Yohan Benalouane Tunisia
Benjamin Pavard France Ellyes Skhiri Tunisia
Marcos Reus Germany Saber Khalifa Tunisia
Albert Gudmundsson Iceland Dylan Bronn Tunisia
Samúel Kári Fridjónsson Iceland Mouez Hassen Tunisia
Frederik Schram Iceland Saîf-Eddine Khaoui Tunisia
Saman Ghoddos Iran Ahmed Khalil Tunisia
Amir Abedzadeh Iran Lucas Torreira Uruguay

Players Removed

Sadly, some players that were projected to take part in Russia didn't make the cut and have since been made unavailable in packs. Don't worry though, if you picked them up before the update you'll still get to hang on to them.

Full list:

  • Radja Nainggolan, Belgium
  • Ghaly Hossam, Egypt
  • Sandro Wagner, Germany

Who's had a boost and who can still get one?

As mentioned in part one of the FUT Report, players who put in man of the match performances would receive an in-game boost based on their performances in real-life games. 

From defensive rocks to midfield dictators to goal-scoring heroes, the full list of MOTM performers is as such:

Date Player Rating Boost Date Player Rating Boost
June 16 Luka Modrić 89 > 90 June 23 Toni Kroos 90 > 91
  N'Golo Kanté 88 > 89   Eden Hazard 90 > 91
  Hannes Þór Halldórsson 74 > 80   Javier Hernandez 81 > 84
  Yussuf Poulsen 74 > 80      
      June 24 Jesse Lingard 80 > 83
June 17 Héctor Herrera 80 > 83   Takashi Inui 78 > 82
  Hirving Lozano 81 > 84   Juan Cuadrado 82 > 84
  Philippe Coutinho 88 > 89      
  Aleksandar Kolarov 80 > 83 June 25 Edinson Cavani 89 > 90
        Salem Al Dawsari 70 > 78
June 18 Harry Kane 87 > 88   Ricardo Quaresma 83 > 85
  Romelu Lukaku 86 > 87   Alireza Beiranvand 81 > 84 (second MOTM)
  Andreas Granqvist 81 > 84   Iago Aspas 83 > 85
June 19 M'Baye Niang 75 > 81 June 26 Lionel Messi 93 > 94
  Denis Cheryshev 76 > 81   Simon Kjær 80 > 83
  Yuya Ōsako 75 > 81   Marcos Rojo 81 > 84
        André Carrillo 79 > 83
June 20 João Moutinho 84 > 86   Milan Badelj 78 > 82
  Isco 86 > 87      
  Luis Suarez 91 > 92 June 27 Kim Young Gwon 71 > 80
        Heung Min Son 83 > 85
June 21 Ivan Rakitić 86 > 87   Thiago Silva 86 > 87
  Christian Eriksen 89 > 90   Joel Campbell 76 > 81
  Olivier Giroud 84 > 86   Ludwig Augustinsson 76 > 81
  Aaron Mooy 76 > 81      
      June 28 Yerry Mina 77 > 82
June 22 Ahmed Musa 74 > 80   Marouane Fellaini 81 > 84
  Xherdan Shaqiri 82 > 84   Wahbi Khazri 78 > 82
  Douglas Costa 83 > 85   Jan Bednarek 68 > 77

Players from teams that have made it into the knock-outs can still get a boost if they impress in their upcoming matches, but big names such as Salah, Kroos, Nemanja Matic and Robert Lewandowski, having been dumped out of the competition, will stay as they are.

If, unlike most gamers, you don't already have a team packed with Icons (due to the relative ease of the repeatable Squad Building Challenge) then Europe is probably still the best shout in terms of retaining good chemistry due to nine UEFA teams still being involved.

Of course, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia are still representing CONMEBOL and have the likes of Messi, Neymar, Suarez and James Rodriguez in their ranks, all of whom already boast high scores. 

Commiserations to those who chose to build a CAF team, with Senegal's exit meaning there are no African sides left in the tournament for their players to get MOTM boosts.

That's all for now - we'll see you after the quarter-finals for the final instalment of the FUT Report.

Until then, enjoy the football!