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FIFA 21 Career Mode - 8 Potential Destinations That Span the Top Leagues

fifa 21 career mode

FIFA 21

FIFA 21 Career Mode - 8 Potential Destinations That Span the Top Leagues

It’s that time of the year again. You know, the one where you’re excited to get the first crack at management in career mode. If you’re like me, you’ve been reading all of the exciting news about the changes to career mode and counting down the days until you take over the club of your choosing. Add in some early footy action across Europe and the US, and the search for who you’ll be managing has become a bit of a sport all its own for me. In addition to this, EA has recently released ~1,000 player ratings so you can start to get a feel for your team and players. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the most exciting teams and biggest challenges you’ll face in the FIFA 21 career mode.

England

Exciting Club – Chelsea

I make no secrets about my affection for Chelsea but hear me out. For a team that was so heavily reliant on veterans, Chelsea has reloaded during the summer transfer window by adding several key players. As is the case with a lot of career mode players, buying up all of the young prospects and developing them takes priority over signing experienced players to plug gaping holes. Chelsea, at least on paper, has seemed to accomplish both.

Transfers In: 

  • Kai Havertz (CAM) – 85 OVR
  • Timo Werner (ST) – 85 OVR
  • Hakim Ziyech (CAM) – 85 OVR
  • Ben Chilwell (LB) – 81 OVR
  • Thiago Silva (CB) – 85 OVR

When you factor in these signings with existing players like our very own Christian Pulisic and the oh-so-lovable Ngolo Kante, Chelsea seems to have a solid core for years to come.

Possible Formation: 4-2-3-1

The pieces are there and while they still will need some time to develop, does Chelsea have what it takes to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool for the title?

Challenging Club – Newcastle

Newcastle should be a top side in England. With the ravenous club following and impressive home ground (St. James’ Park), there are plenty of reasons why leading Newcastle to glory could present a fun challenge. They’ll most likely start off with a relatively modest budget (~23 million GBP in FIFA 20), so you’ll have to examine the squad and decide which areas need some trimming.

Transfers In: 

  • Callum Wilson (ST) – 78 OVR
  • Jamal Lewis (LB) – No OVR Yet
  • Ryan Fraser (RM/LM) – No OVR Yet

Newcastle’s owner Mike Ashley is known for not splashing the cash but his team’s added a couple of key pieces this year, namely in Callum WIlson and Ryan Fraser (both formerly of Bournemouth) while left back Jamal Lewis was highly coveted this summer before choosing a switch to Tyneside.

Possible Formation: 4-4-2

It doesn’t get any more English than 4-4-2, but with a mobile striker in Wilson playing off a big target forward like Joelinton, you could have a nice partnership up top. Throw in the exciting Allan Saint-Maximin and energetic Miguel Almiron, and your attack could be better than expected.

Germany

Exciting Club – Dortmund

No shock here! Dortmund has long been one of the most exciting sides in Europe, and a favorite of many gamers with their trademark black and yellow kits, raucous Signal Iduna Park and seemingly endless pipeline of young talent. Throw in another young American talent with Gio Reyna to a side that already boasts Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland, and Marco Reus and you’re sure to score goals. But can you dethrone the mighty Bayern?

Transfers In: 

  • Emre Can (CM) – 82 OVR
  • Jude Bellingham (CM) – No OVR Yet
  • Thomas Meunier (RB) – 81 OVR

Possible Formation: 3-4-1-2

Challenging Club – FC Schalke 04

To put it bluntly, Schalke — a once proud club — is a dumpster fire right now. Not only did they almost get relegated to Germany’s second division last year, the club is also in serious debt (upwards of 200 million). Now, none of that matters in the virtual FIFA world, but there’s still a huge mountain to climb if you want to take Schalke back into battling for a top-four spot and entry into the Champions League.

Transfers In: 

  • No one of note

Possible Formation: 4-4-2

The squad you will inherit in FIFA 21 will largely be unchanged (minus one Weston McKennie) from 2019, so it’s going to be up to you to round out the roster. Amine Harit will most likely be your creative playmaker so it will be important to try and scour the bottom table sides in Germany to help plug the gaps. Realistically, it should take you a few years to get Schalke back into contention for the top four but the challenge is what makes career mode.

Spain

Exciting Team – FC Barcelona

It feels weird putting the mighty Barca in this category but it seems as if the rebuild is on at the Camp Nou. Out are the likes of Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal, Nelson Semedo and Arthur as Barcelona seems intent on getting a little bit younger and reducing that inflated wage bill. Yes, Mr. Messi is still there, but with his contract expiring next summer (2021), you’ll be faced with an important decision: Do you sell Messi and go full rebuild?

Transfers In: 

  • Miralem Pjanic (CM) – 85 OVR
  • Trincao (RW) – 78 OVR

Possible Formation: 4-2-2-2

For the first time in nearly 20 years, the future looks bleak at Barcelona. Sure, there are still young talents like Frenkie de Jong and Ansu Fati — and the financial crisis impacting FCB in real life means little in FIFA — but will you be the person who sells Messi? No matter what transpires, the pressure for trophies will be still be there so plan your moves wisely.

Challenging Club – Valencia CF

A once-proud club with a pretty good history, Valencia has been caught in the midst of financial turmoil in most recent times. Champions League participants last year, the Bats have sold off several of their key players from the last few years. Striker Rodrigo now plies his trade in England with Leeds United while promising winger Ferran Torres joined Man City. Club captain, Dani Parejo, and his midfield partner, ex-Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin, made the move to Villarreal, which left Valencia thin in both attack and midfield.

Transfers In: 

  • No transfers as of yet

Possible Formation: 4-4-1-1

There’s still some talent on this Valencia side. Promising South Korean youngster Lee Kang-in should develop into a good playmaker while left back Jose Gaya is as solid as you can get. Carlos Soler is also on the squad, and at 23 should be able to break out and fulfill some of that potential. Keeping the big boys from coming in and poaching the young talent that you possess could be difficult but with Real Madrid, Atletico and Barcelona firmly entrenched in the top three spots, the race for the final Champions League spot should come down to one of Valencia, Real Betis, Villarreal or Sevilla.

Italy

Exciting Club – AC Milan

The Rossoneri are back! Well, kind of. Post restart, AC Milan went without a loss, reminding fans that the former European powerhouse (seven European Cups to their name) is still capable of getting back to its best and possibly dethroning Juventus. With club talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic leading the line and some new investors, AC Milan should pose a fun challenge in FIFA 21 career mode.

Transfers In: 

  • Sandro Tonali (CM) – No Rating Yet
  • Alexis Saelemaekers (RW) – No Rating Yet
  • Brahim Diaz (CAM) – No Rating Yet & On Loan From Real Madrid

Possible Formation: 4-2-3-1

There’s no shortage of talent at the San Siro. World Cup winner Theo Hernandez should lock down the left back spot for years while Donnarumma is one of the world’s best between the posts. The attack is promising with Zlatan but a long-term solution should be one of your first moves. Kessi anchors the midfield while Rebic, Hakan and the tricky Castillejo should provide flair in attack.

Challenging Club – ACF Fiorentina

Boasting some of the best kits in the game, La Viola has been toying with mediocrity for too long. With the likes of Franck Ribery, Chiesa and Kevin Prince-Boateng, you have some performers at your disposal but will it be enough to crack the top four?

Transfers In: 

  • Alfred Duncan (CM) – No Rating Yet
  • Pol Lirola (RB) – No Rating Yet

Possible Formation: 3-5-2

Ribery and Prince-Boateng are getting up there in age so phasing them out makes sense, but will you be able to hold onto your crown jewel in Federico Chiesa? He could either be the cornerstone piece you build around, or the player whose sale finances future transfers.

With its stranglehold on licenses, FIFA 21 has a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to deciding which FIFA 21 career mode team to manage. Will you be the next Sir Alex Ferguson and build a juggernaut, or will you go the Mourinho route and go full vigilante?

What club will you be managing in FIFA 21?

17 Comments

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Discussion
  1. It would've been nice if the article included some obscure teams rather than big sides only. I understand they will have high expectations from the board but it is easy to buy good players on FIFA and quickly turn a team around.
    I would use the word "challenge" for lower league clubs (Harrogate), those struggling financially (Valencia, Bolton) or those with a weak team in a tough division (Wycombe).
    Some other interesting teams include Turkgucu in 3.Liga, Inter Miami in MLS and Macarthur FC in the A-League.
    jrnlgrn
    Oh so KG doesn't have any love for the French league lol

    Farmer's league bro lol. I'm j/k. I did a Bordeaux CM back in FIFA '18. I poached nearly all of the young French "kids" at the time. Diop from West Ham (formerly of Toulouse). Sarr from Chelsea, Maximin from Newcastle, etc...
    opius
    It would've been nice if the article included some obscure teams rather than big sides only. I understand they will have high expectations from the board but it is easy to buy good players on FIFA and quickly turn a team around.
    I would use the word "challenge" for lower league clubs (Harrogate), those struggling financially (Valencia, Bolton) or those with a weak team in a tough division (Wycombe).
    Some other interesting teams include Turkgucu in 3.Liga, Inter Miami in MLS and Macarthur FC in the A-League.

    I didn't have the ratings for the smaller clubs so it would have been tough to do. Believe me, I won't use any of the teams I mentioned in CM but if you implement house rules you could have some fun with some of the big clubs.
    RoyceDa59
    I would throw Athletic Club in their and try to implement a house rule of only signing "Basque" players haha.

    I tried that in FIFA 14 and had a lot of fun. The only problem was that the Youth Academy was really shot back then so I had to add one rule, namely that I could buy from Real Sociedad so I was able to get Griezmann and Inigo Martinez lol.
    Suntan Superman
    I assume you are more affectionate towards the video game version of Kepa? lol

    Lol yeah cuz fortunately there’s no “confidence” rating
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    jrnlgrn
    Playing with big clubs might be more challenging this year depending on how the "strict" negotiation setting works.

    Yeah I always set all of that stuff to the hardest difficulty, even in PES. Then I implement some house rules and try to stay away from sofifa and PES Master.
    Looking forward to hearing about your CM travels this year!
    Sticking to the GTN made my Mainz career a lot more immersive. Since I wasn't shopping for top, top quality I had to put thought into my needs and target players to scout accordingly. When Spurs activated my LBs release clause late in January I had to scramble to bring in some cover. Ending up signing a guy who wasn't fully scouted that was a disappointment. Played a few matches and by next season was deadweight (but luckily cheap). It was like my very own Andre Santos!
    Strict negotiations could add more depth for sure. Hoping players will be more reluctant to take lower wages, move to weaker teams/leagues, and we heard about moving to rival clubs. While I like the idea of that, I think more focus on role, wages, other players at same position is what would really improve transfers, especially if it affects the CPU too.
    jrnlgrn
    Oh so KG doesn't have any love for the French league lol

    KG
    Farmer's league bro lol. I'm j/k. I did a Bordeaux CM back in FIFA '18. I poached nearly all of the young French "kids" at the time. Diop from West Ham (formerly of Toulouse). Sarr from Chelsea, Maximin from Newcastle, etc...

    I've played Career mode in the Premier League (Chelsea), Bundesliga (Dortmund) and La Liga (Atletico Madrid) over the last few FIFA versions. I was thinking of starting with a mid-table French team and build them into real competition for PSG in Ligue 1. Maybe Monaco or Nice?
    PDuncanOSU
    I've played Career mode in the Premier League (Chelsea), Bundesliga (Dortmund) and La Liga (Atletico Madrid) over the last few FIFA versions. I was thinking of starting with a mid-table French team and build them into real competition for PSG in Ligue 1. Maybe Monaco or Nice?

    If you're interested in North American talent, Lille has both Timothy Weah and Jonathan David, as well as Renato Sanches of Portugal who is a great talent as well.
    KG
    Yeah I always set all of that stuff to the hardest difficulty, even in PES. Then I implement some house rules and try to stay away from sofifa and PES Master.
    Looking forward to hearing about your CM travels this year!

    KG, do you mind sharing your house rules?
    KG

    I didn't have the ratings for the smaller clubs so it would have been tough to do. Believe me, I won't use any of the teams I mentioned in CM but if you implement house rules you could have some fun with some of the big clubs.

    Fair enough. I also realised after you posted that it said 'top leagues' so ignore that part of my post.
    It would be good to see you do one on the smaller clubs when you can access the info!
    For me, I've decided the first two CMs I'll be doing already-
    1) Man City. Favorite team and a great team to ease into the game and get used to FIFA 21 gameplay. I'll probably play 2-3 seasons here and see how many trophies I can win. If i still feel like playing beyond 3 years (almost never happens because I end up starting somewhere else!) I'll probably look to takeover a big club in Germany or Spain.
    2) French league, toss up between Montpellier & Marseilles. Marseilles is obviously a much more established team, but I'd like to challenge PSG for French league dominance. Might choose another even - I need to make sure I like the jerseys and stadium.
    Beyond those two, I'll probably look to build up a lower league English team to the Premiership
    I always liked Marseille’s kits and Montpellier would be a cool CM. One of the last sides along with Monaco not named PSG to win Ligue 1.
    Going against all of my sim DNA I’ve been leaning Real Madrid. I’d like to do a rebuild but obviously I’m going to have to implement a lot of house rules or things could get out of hand fast lol.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    KG
    I always liked Marseille’s kits and Montpellier would be a cool CM. One of the last sides along with Monaco not named PSG to win Ligue 1.
    Going against all of my sim DNA I’ve been leaning Real Madrid. I’d like to do a rebuild but obviously I’m going to have to implement a lot of house rules or things could get out of hand fast lol.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    For A Real Madrid rebuild you could transfer out all the big talent prior to starting your CM. Raid some of the second division teams for some of their deadwood to fill out your squad. Then just restrict yourself budget wise. For added challenge put them in the second division.
    Wavebird99
    For me, I've decided the first two CMs I'll be doing already-
    1) Man City. Favorite team and a great team to ease into the game and get used to FIFA 21 gameplay. I'll probably play 2-3 seasons here and see how many trophies I can win. If i still feel like playing beyond 3 years (almost never happens because I end up starting somewhere else!) I'll probably look to takeover a big club in Germany or Spain.
    2) French league, toss up between Montpellier & Marseilles. Marseilles is obviously a much more established team, but I'd like to challenge PSG for French league dominance. Might choose another even - I need to make sure I like the jerseys and stadium.
    Beyond those two, I'll probably look to build up a lower league English team to the Premiership

    KG
    I always liked Marseille’s kits and Montpellier would be a cool CM. One of the last sides along with Monaco not named PSG to win Ligue 1.
    Going against all of my sim DNA I’ve been leaning Real Madrid. I’d like to do a rebuild but obviously I’m going to have to implement a lot of house rules or things could get out of hand fast lol.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    I started my first CM with Chelsea because they're my favorite team. I've been thinking about starting one with one of the teams from Ligue 1 that you've mentioned. I had this idea that pretending I've moved to the Mediterranean Coast of France would be a nice perk to running one of these teams. Would also be fun to try attempt to mount a real challenge to PSG in France.

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