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The FUT Report: One last look at FIFA 18 ahead of the World Cup final

4:30 PM IST 09/07/18
FIFA 18 World Cup update
As we move into the business end of the greatest show on earth, Goal pours through everything EA have thrown at us throughout the tournament

Have you calmed down a bit since the quarter finals? Yep, us neither.

It's been a tremendous World Cup so far, with plenty of thrills, spills and chills, and us gamers have been following the action with peeled eyes to see how the results affect our Ultimate Teams in FIFA 18's World Cup mode.

In this final instalment of the FUT Report, Goal looks at what's changed since part two, reviews everything we've been treated to in the free DLC (Thanks, EA!) and takes a look at what we can expect next from the world's most popular football video game franchise.

The Story So Far

For much of the English contingent out there, the story so far simply reads 'it's coming home', thought not everyone is convinced.

Having already seen big guns Germany flop at the first hurdle, Spain latterly joined Die Mannschaft as one of the tournament's underachievers, losing out to hosts Russia on penalties in the round of 16.

Fast forward to the quarters and Croatia did just enough to knock out the hosts in their own back yard, while Belgium booted a mostly uninspiring Brazil and France dispatched a Uruguay side short of one Edinson Cavani.

It really has been a wild ride, so let's look at how the above affected our squads in game.

Which players have had a MOTM boost?

Since the last issue of the FUT Report we've enjoyed the round of 16 and the quarter finals – the players who performed best in those games and received a stat increase as a result are as follows:

Date Player Rating Boost Date Player Rating Boost
June 30 Edinson Cavani 89 > 90 > 92 July 3 Emil Forsberg 83 > 86
  Kylian Mbappé 85 > 87   Andreas Granqvist 81 > 84 > 87
  Angel Di María 85 > 87   Yerry Mina 77 > 82 > 86
  Benjamin Pavard 78 > 84   Kieran Trippier 81 > 85
  Diego Laxalt 78 > 84      
      July 6 Antoine Griezmann 89 > 91
July 1 Isco 86 > 87 > 89   Eden Hazard 90 > 91 > 93
  Ivan Rakitić 86 > 87 > 89   Kevin De Bruyne 91 > 92
  Kasper Schemeichel 83 > 86   Marcelo 87 > 89
  Danijel Subašić 83 > 86   Raphael Varane 85 > 87
  Igor Akinfeev 80 > 85      
      July 7 Harry Maguire 79 > 82
July 2 Neymar 93 > 94   Jordan Pickford 79 > 82
  Willian 85 > 87   Alan Dzagoev 81 > 84
  Nacer Chadli 79 > 84   Luka Modric 89 > 90 > 91
  Takashi Inui 78 > 82 > 86      

With just France, Belgium, Croatia and England still left in the competition, Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric and Eden Hazard are the only players to have had three MOTM boosts and still be in the frame to get a fourth.

So that's the story on the stat increases so far, but what else did EA surprise us with?

World Cup mode: What did we get for free?

To state the obvious first, we basically got a full game for nothing other than the original cost of FIFA 18.

We got 32 teams filled with updated stats for each squad player heading into the tournament, tweaks made when the full squads were announced, new game modes, new icons, and what certainly felt like a smoother gameplay experience.

Through Squad Building Challenges we've been afforded easier routes to attaining our favourite players – Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Mohamed Salah, Kevin De Bruyne, Harry Kane and many more are guaranteed rewards from the Nations SBCs.

In addition to all that, the easily completable Icons SBCs (one of which is repeatable) gave us access to the game's historical greats and a real feel for the top end players that many of us never got to experience before without spending more money and man hours on packs that perhaps we could afford.

Thanks again, EA!

Is anything else still going on in FIFA 18?

Yes, plenty. Outside of World Cup mode, the Festival of FUTball is in full swing. 

The FoF is chock full of new, upgraded cards to further boost your regular Ultimate Team side (The FoF operates outside of World Cup mode), including Teams of the Matchday from the tournament in Russia and plenty of SBCs to keep you busy over the summer.

Perhaps the most fun additions are the Classic European Heroes and the Rest of World Heroes which can be seen below:

What's next?

The semis and the World Cup final, of course!

Between the real competition in Russia and the amount of stuff EA has dropped on us over the course of the last month or so we should have plenty to keep us going until...

For now, it's time to kick back and enjoy the business end of the greatest sporting event in the world.