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:
- France vs Argentina
- Uruguay vs Portugal
- Spain vs Russia
- Croatia vs Denmark
- Brazil vs Mexico
- Belgium vs Japan
- Sweden vs Switzerland
- Colombia vs England
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:
|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|
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.
- 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!