EA Sports FC 24 bug gifts Lionel Messi TOTY to 100s of players

...and everyone else is fuming!

Lionel Messi with his EA Sports FC 24 TOTY card
(Image credit: Yasser Bakhsh / Getty Images)

The Team of the Year promotion in EA Sports FC 24 may not have turned out as good as Electronic Arts and players had hoped. The latter have found that snagging one of the best cards in Ultimate Team has proved frustrating, with some claiming to have opened 100s of packs without a sniff. And EA has now found that a single bug can nigh-on ruin the game.

After the latest content refresh yesterday, one of the new Squad Building Challenges (SBC) gifted almost a large percentage of players a TOTY Lionel Messi, worth around 9 million coins on the game's transfer market. It's one of the best cards in the game and a vast number got it for free.

EA realised the issue and so withdrew the 86+ player pick, but not before the damage was done. Thousands of other players, many of which spend a lot of real money on the game, missed out. It has left them fuming.

You only need to read the comments under the brief statement posted on the game support's official X (formerly Twitter) feed.

Some are understandably upset and wonder what EA plans to do to rebalance the game. Others are have said they are downing controllers for good.

The issue is that the hugely popular Ultimate Team is a competitive multiplayer mode that usually carefully balances card drops so that players of roughly the same level have roughly the same strength team. Sure, it's possible to purchase packs to boost your chances of getting the best players using real cash, but even that doesn't tend to yield the biggest rewards.

By accidentally gifting a vast number of players one of the best cards in the game but not everyone, EA has unwittingly given them an advantage in the toughest competitions, such as FUT Champs at the weekend.

I for one am not looking forward to playing against a cascade of Messi-endowed rivals, that's for sure.

As with all players, I now await to see what EA plans to do about the error. It can't just take away the Lionel Messi card from those who pulled it – even if it was a glitch. Nor can it just gift everybody in the game the same card, as that would make it  ridiculous.

I've contacted the EA Sports FC 24 team to find out and will report back when I hear something.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.