Barcelona endured a difficult summer with Neymar leaving against their wishes to join PSG, while they were also hammered 5-1 by Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup.

However, Ernesto Valverde has managed to turn things around with Barcelona well ahead of Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga and leading their group in the Champions League.

When asked about his favourite team on FIFA, Virgil van Dijk, speaking at the launch of EA SPORTS FIFA 18, said: “Always Barcelona. I am, obviously, a big fan of Barcelona on the game and back in the day the way they play, and the players they had, and still have. I think it’s an amazing team to watch.

“And I think also when you play against friends it’s always going to be Barca-Real anyway because most of the time those are the two strongest teams on FIFA. But yes, Barcelona is my team on FIFA.

“I was always a big fan of Ronaldinho, he was my idol; an amazing player, full of energy, full of joy and happiness and I think that’s the most important thing for a player.”

The loss of Neymar hasn’t had a detrimental impact on Barcelona’s recent results, but it is bound to impact them on FIFA 18 as he is the third best player on the game with a 92 overall rating, behind Lionel Messi (93) and cover star Cristiano Ronaldo (94).

Neymar’s replacement Ousmane Dembele, who is currently sidelined with a thigh injury, has an overall rating of 83 which is a massive upgrade on his non-in-form card from last year following an outstanding campaign with Borussia Dortmund.

Like Dembele, Van Dijk’s ratings also received a hike this year, with the towering Dutchman going from a 79 overall rating to an 83 and while he was pleased with his upgrade he insisted he should be quicker on the game.

“I was 79 last season, so [the new card is] a good improvement, a good upgrade – could be better,” he said.

“I’ve seen everything and I think my pace should be a little bit higher, but no it’s alright for a centre-back on FIFA. But yes, if I need to improve something on FIFA it would be pace.”

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