10 best FIFA 21 Career Mode teams to manage
FIFA Career Mode is back once again, so we’re running through some of the best teams you should start with.
It’s time to pull a few sickies, kiss goodbye to our girlfriends and re-enter the dugout. FIFA Career Mode is back.
Although it’s always been seen as EA’s neglected child, FIFA 21 finally introduces some of the improvements we’ve spent so long begging for. The unbelievable control over player development is the clear highlight for me, but the new Interactive Match Sim also offers the Football Manager hybrid I’ve always dreamt of.
This year, your days in the dugout are genuinely more immersive, rewarding and fun than they’ve been for a very long time. Yep, you’re probably itching to get your claws into a club and lead them on to Champions League glory, packing your lineup with more wonderkids than a joint Ajax/Dortmund training camp.
While I can’t wait to stun the Bernabeu with a gegenpressing Harrogate Town, deciding where to start your journey is actually quite tough. After all, you’re gonna sink hours into your club, so I’ve put together some of the best FIFA 21 Career Mode teams to manage this season. Goodbye, social life.
Check out our other posts all about FIFA 21:
10. AS Monaco
Division: Ligue 1
Transfer Budget: £31,173,120
Somebody needs to knock Paris Saint-Germain off their perch, and AS Monaco could well be the team to do it. In fact, that’s exactly what they did back in 2016-17, clinching a surprise Ligue 1 title and preventing 5 straight years of Parisian dominance. Unfortunately, they also triggered one hell of a shopping spree.
Not quite content with only signing Neymar, PSG also pinched Kylian Mbappe from their Ligue 1 rivals and immediately went back to winning everything. Since then, the Stade Louis II has seen four different managers and some outrageous flirting with the relegation zone, inexplicably finishing 17th and then 9th in the past two seasons.
Now with Wissam Ben Yedder leading the line and some cracking youngsters in their ranks, it’s about time Monaco returned to the summit of French football. Just brace yourself for another PSG spending-spree.
9. Leeds United
Division: Premier League
Transfer Budget: £14,850,000
Leeds United are finally back where they belong. After 16 incredibly long years, Premier League matches are being played under the lights of Elland Road once again, as the club moves closer to the days of Viduka, Kewell and, um, Roque Junior. They want Champions League football again, and it’s up to you to give to them.
Okay, so Marcelo Bielsa might be a genius, but it’s also the perfect time to steal his hot seat (or bucket). Kalvin Phillips, Robin Koch and Raphinha provide a strong core to a team still in need of improvement, while Joe Gelhardt and Crysencio Summerville are among the youngsters really worth developing.
All the right pieces are there, but you need to come in and get them in the right order. It’s an exciting new era for Leeds United, and now you can start writing the next chapter in their illustrious history. Make sure you don’t spy on anyone, though.
8. Schalke 04
Transfer Budget: £21,547,098
To put it politely, Schalke are a real mess right now. They had a disastrous end to last season (finishing in a lowly 12th) and kicked off 2020/21 by losing 8-0 to Bayern Munchen. Currently sat rock bottom without a Bundesliga win since January, it’s fair to say David Wagner has left some incredibly small shoes to fill.
You’ll inherit a tame attack and a defence with more leaks than Transfer Deadline Day, but it’s not all bad news. Yes, Schalke are in need of a complete revamp, but Ozan Kabak, Rabbi Matondo and Suat Serdar are very much their golden eggs, and I’d recommend building your team around these promising youngsters.
This is a job which can be split into distinct phases. Phase One: avoid an incredibly embarrassing relegation. Phase Two: deliver the club’s first Bundesliga title in their history, and seriously annoy a few Dortmund fans.
7. Inter Miami
Transfer Budget: £27,027,002
I don’t care what you think of the club’s name, branding or even its owners, the fact is that Inter Miami are an incredibly exciting project. Yes, the flamingo-themed logos and kits definitely draw the eye, but it’s the prospect of literally building a club from scratch which really gets the blood pumping. Besides, I’ve always wanted to work with David Beckham.
This is a brand-new team for FIFA 21, so your task here is to turn Inter Miami into a household MLS name, toppling the likes of LA Galaxy and DC United. After bringing in Blaise Matuidi and Gonzalo Higuain, the building blocks are there for your own team of superstars - yeah, you’ll have a blast sniffing out any expiring contracts!
Inter Miami definitely seems like the best option for anyone wanting to take the reigns outside of Europe. Especially if you love pink flamingoes.
6. Borussia Dortmund
Transfer Budget: £65,157,664
WARNING: wonderkid overload.
The most rewarding part of Career Mode comes from developing young players into world-class superstars, and very few clubs do this better than Borussia Dortmund. You probably already know that they boast some of the most exciting talent in world football, with Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham all amongst the best players on the game.
However, toppling the frightening power of Bayern Munchen is anything but an easy task. Robert “LewanGOALski” and co. are the best side on the planet right now, so you’ll need to carry out some more shrewd transfer business if you ever want to catch up to them - particularly Alphonso Davies.
A team full of promising youngsters is always gonna be fun, and you’ll get a decent budget to add to Dortmund’s ridiculous pool of talent. Just don’t try to negotiate with Manchester United, it looks like a real nightmare.
5. FC Barcelona
Division: La Liga
Transfer Budget: £162,446,784
Now that’s an eye-popping transfer budget. After getting embarrassed by Bayern and the ensuing Lionel Messi saga, Barcelona are clearly a side in disarray. The appointment of Ronald Koeman has definitely raised a few eyebrows, especially since there’s clearly a much better candidate for this huge rebuilding job: you.
Whether you convince Messi to stay is entirely up to you, but you’ll still need to spend some serious cash to turn Barca into the force they used to be. Of course, this is still a squad jam-packed with talent, and just a few clever signings will see you launch an immediate title challenge.
Along with established superstars like Messi and Antoine Griezmann, you’ve got Ansu Fati and Trincao ushering in a brand-new generation. Yep, developing these talents and steering clear of the current crisis sounds like a heap of fun. Unless you’re a Madrid fan.
4. Bolton Wanderers
Division: League Two
Transfer Budget: £1,575,000
This perhaps won’t be as challenging as last year, but taking Bolton Wanderers back to the Premier League is still a tough ask. The days of Jay-Jay Okocha and Ivan Campo are now nothing more than a distant memory, while I bet every Trotter would give anything to watch Kevin Davies bullying defenders just one last time.
The difference this year is you won’t spend your entire first season battling relegation, while they’ve also improved on last year’s dismal team rating. In FIFA 21, you can immediately start winning matches in a lower division and focus entirely on getting promoted, instead of getting pumped 5-0 by Sunderland and breaking your controller.
Dennis Politic and Ronan Darcy look like the most exciting prospects, so it could be fun to watch some of these younger prospects develop as you battle up the leagues. Getting to the Premier League is one thing, but staying financially stable is probably still the most challenging aspect here.
3. Malaga CF
Division: Spanish Segunda
Transfer Budget: £8,883,000
Oh, Malaga, what a fall from grace. In just 5 short years, the Andalusians went from the Champions League quarter-finals to the second tier of Spanish football, relegated for just the second time in the club’s short history. Two seasons on, and Los Boquerones are still stuck there, waiting for you to save them.
After years of financial trouble and offloading their best players, this season Malaga give you one of the Segunda’s largest transfer kitty’s. You’re gonna need it, too, because you’ll be taking over a squad devoid of any real stand out players and in obvious need of an overhaul. Yep, you’ll have a very busy summer transfer window.
There’s some hope to be found with the youth players, however. Ismael Casas, Joaquin and Larrubia all look like they’re worth sticking with for the long-term, and you might as well chuck them all into your starting lineup. Malaga have gone from rags to riches to relegation, so make sure not to repeat that cycle.
2. AC Milan
Division: Serie A
Transfer Budget: £33,543,230
When it comes to sleeping giants, nobody snores quite so loudly as AC Milan. The glory days of Arrigo Sacchi and Carlo Ancelotti have long since past, with not even a hint of Kaka’s swagger or Shevchenko’s power remaining. After years at the very top of European football, the Rossoneri haven’t even been in the Champions League since 2014.
To make matters worse, Juventus have enjoyed an unprecedented 9 league titles in a row, forging an impenetrable iron grip on the coveted scudetto. Now with Zlatan Ibrahimovich (albeit a pretty old one) back at the San Siro, this is a club who remain in dire need of a reawakening. Football just isn’t the same without them.
It falls on you to bring the glory days back to Milan, even if you don’t have the likes of Maldini, van Basten or Andrea Pirlo. Instead, you need to bring through the next generation of superstars, using Sandro Tonali and Gianluigi Donnarumma to transform Milan back into the powerhouse they used to be.
1. Harrogate Town
Division: League Two
Transfer Budget: £914,722
When a club’s promoted to the Football League for the first time, it means something very important: they’re gonna be on the new FIFA. Harrogate Town have come up to League Two with a tiny transfer budget and one of the worst kits of the season, as well as a team which feels like it’s constantly running through sludge.
It’s going to take a huge amount of time to get them into the Champions League, but you just can’t beat a League Two minnow rocking up at the Bernabeu (and winning). With just a measly half star to their name, Town are the smallest and worst-rated English side on FIFA 21, so this is the ultimate challenge if you want to take a side up through the leagues.
I mean, the good news is you can’t actually get relegated from League Two, so I guess the only way is up. Oh, and you’ve got the legendary Jon Stead up top, just in case I haven’t quite twisted your arm.
There’s no doubt about it, Career Mode is an absolute blast this year. Whoever you decide to take charge of, you can find deals on your new club’s shirts by comparing prices at FOOTY.COM. After all, how else are you going to dress on cup final day?