The World Cup has yet to kick off but Canada is down the pecking order, at least in the new ratings for the tournament update to the EA Sports FIFA 23 video game.
Canada ranks 26th in the 32-country field with its 26-man roster having an average rating of 75 (out of 100).
Brazil leads with an average ranking of 85 followed by Argentina, France and Germany, all at 84 (with Argentina having the highest score when decimal points are factored in). England is fifth followed by Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium — with all five on 83.
Canada opens against Belgium on Wednesday.
Croatia and Morocco, Canada's other two opponents in Group F, rank 11th and 19th, respectively, at 80 and 77.
Canada is sandwiched between No. 25 Cameroon and No. 27 Costa Rica.
Saudi Arabia and host Qatar are at the other end of the scale, both at 71 although the Saudis are ranked 31st and Qatar 32nd.
Gamers were able to download the World Cup update to the FIFA 23 game on Nov. 9. With each World Cup team's roster now official, the video game developer released its tournament player ratings and team averages on Friday.
The ratings are for a variety of World Cup modes but not the for FIFA Ultimate team mode.
The good news for Canada is the World Cup ratings, as in the regular video game, will be adjusted throughout the tournament to reflect real field play.
EA Sports has already predicted Argentina will hoist the trophy — on Lionel Messi's eighth goal of the tournament — with France second and Brazil third, based on game simulations. The game developer notes it has picked the winner in the last three World Cups.
The new individual World Cup player ratings have a larger emphasis on international performance.
While Canada's Alphonso Davies has a ranking of 84 for both Bayern Munich (with "live form" turned off) and Canada, teammate Jonathan David gets a ranking of 79 in the game for Lille and an 82 for Canada.
Star forward Gareth Bale gets an 81 with Los Angeles FC but an 87 for Wales.
Messi leads all World Cup players with a ranking of 91 in the tournament update, followed by France's Karim Benzema, Poland's Robert Lewandowski, Belgium's Kevin de Bruyne, France's Kylian Mbappe, Belgium's Thibaut Courtois and Brazil's Neymar, all also on 91.
The ratings are for the FIFA World Cup 2022 Game mode — tournament, online tournament and kick-off — not for FIFA Ultimate team.
FIFA 23 is developed by EA Vancouver and EA Romania.
Canada ratings for EA Sport FIFA 23 World Cup update
Alphonso Davies, 84
Jonathan David, 82
Stephen Eustaquio, 78
Tajon Buchanan, 77
Jonathan Osorio, 77
Sam Adekugbe, 76
Milan Borjan, 75
Atiba Hutchinson, 75
Cyle Larin, 75
Alistair Johnston, 74
Lucas Cavallini, 74
Dayne St. Clair, 74
Richie Laryea, 73
Mark-Anthony Kaye, 72
Ike Ugbo, 72
Liam Millar, 71
Junior Hoilett, 71
Steven Vitoria, 70
Samuel Piette, 70
Kamal Miller, 70
Derek Cornelius, 68
David Wotherspoon, 67
Joel Waterman, 67
Ismael Kone, 66
James Pantemis, 66
Liam Fraser, 65
Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2022
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press