FIFA 21's best XI: according to the stats
EA has revealed FIFA 21's player ratings, meaning we can now tell you the best possible squad to get out on the field.
The player ratings for FIFA 21 have been out for a while, with a few players getting a boost after a great season, and others having received downgrades after a disappointing return last time around. Of course, there have already been some debates over individual ratings, but if you want to dive past the bickering between rival teams, we’ve got you covered. To assemble the best possible team in Ultimate Team, these are the players to look out for. We’ve gone for 4-3-3, as it’s both the most common formation in top-class world football and most people’s preferred formation on FIFA.
GK: Jan Oblak, Atlético de Madrid, 91 Rated
Oblak has been run close by Alisson and ter Stegen again, but the Atlético keeper retains his spot as the number one number one in the game. It was another trophyless season for Atlético, though few would question Oblak’s position as the best goalkeeper in the world, especially after his match saving performance against Liverpool in the Champions League. Adrian, whose error cost Liverpool that game, unsurprisingly misses out on the top 20 keepers.
LB: Andy Robertson, Liverpool, 87 Rated
In a shock to nobody, the Liverpool left back makes the best XI after his title winning season. Much of Liverpool’s play comes through the full backs storming forward, and with Robbo’s 83 pace and 80 dribbling, he’s your man if you’re looking to drive out from the back. There might have been better left backs in Premier League history, but few have been as important to their team as Robertson is to Liverpool.
CB: Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool, 90 Rated
Was it ever going to be anyone else? While other defenders do get close to Van Dijk’s 90 rating, when you talk about the best players in the world, Van Dijk is the only defender whose name comes up. He’s surrounded by great players at Liverpool, but it feels like he’s single handedly turned them from nearly-men to champions of England, Europe, and the world. 91 defending, 86 physical, and impressive 76 pace for a CB… Van Dijk is set to be an absolute beast in FIFA 21.
CB: Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid, 89 Rated
Sergio Ramos has been among the highest rated defenders in FIFA for a decade, and though the likes of Koulibaly, Laporte, and Real teammate Varane run him close, no one could look at his performances this season and claim his place is unjustified. A key cog in Real’s title win, he’s no slouch at the other end either, finishing the season as the joint 10th top scorer in La Liga. Not the most likeable player, but undeniably impressive.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool, 87 Rated
A very Liverpool back line here, especially with Alisson the second-highest rated keeper, but only the most bitter Man Utd, Man City, or Everton fan would question Trent making the team as the world’s best right back. Arguably even more than Robertson, Alexander-Arnold drives play forward from the wing back position for Liverpool. With 80 pace, 80 dribbling, and a huge 87 passing, Trent can be your playmaker from defence in FIFA 21.
CDM: Casemiro, Real Madrid, 89 Rated
To try and accommodate the world’s best and brightest, we’re going for two CDMs and a CAM, then two wingers and a central striker; the sub’s bench will deal with the players who missed out due to formation constraints. For the first CDM, it’s Real’s reliable Casemiro who gets the nod. He’s often thought of as Real’s most underrated player, doing the grunt work to let the stars shine, but clearly EA appreciates his importance, ranking him as the supremo holding player.
CDM: Joshua Kimmich, Bayern Munich, 88 Rated
Off the back of a Champions League winning season, it’s perhaps surprising that Kimmich is the only Bayern player to make the first team -- sorry Lewandowski fans -- but while he’s maybe not the first Bayern player you think off, you can’t say it’s unwarranted. He’s more glamorous than Casemiro, but only just. Toni Kroos is down as a regular CM, but he’s 88 too and will have team chemistry with Casemiro and Ramos behind, so is a good fit to stick in instead.
CAM: Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City, 91 Rated
City’s only player in the first team is the Premier League’s biggest star. Even with Ronaldo and Messi still tearing things up, De Bruyne is a big contender for the world’s best player. With 86 shooting, he’ll be deadly from range, with 88 dribbling he’ll find space where there is none, and most importantly for the KDB experience, with 93 passing he’ll bag loads of assists. A game changer more times than you can count for City, he’ll be a valuable asset in FIFA 21.
LW: Neymar Jr, PSG, 91 Rated
Neymar Jr holds off stiff competition from Sadio Mané to be FIFA 21’s best left winger, beating Mané for passing and dribbling, while Mané has him for pace and physicality. They share the same shooting, at a high 85. He led PSG to the Champions League final this year, but just couldn’t get them over the line. With these stats in FIFA 21, maybe he'll be able to take them one step further this season.
RW: Lionel Messi, Barcelona, 93 Rated
The next two entries make for very familiar reading, as Messi is crowned not only the game’s best winger, but the best player in the game full stop. Though Barca had a disappointing season -- so disappointing Messi wanted to leave -- his stats across the board still make for incredible reading. The debate between him and Ronaldo will rumble on, but rather than argue between them, it’s best to just enjoy the fact that we have two of the greatest players ever playing at the same time. Both will likely draw an end to their careers sooner rather than later, so enjoy it while you can.
ST: Cristiano Ronaldo, Piemonte Calcio, 92 Rated
Much like Messi, it seems like having Ronaldo in the World XI is a bit of a formality, even after the season Robert Lewandowski had for Bayern. What else is there to say about Ronaldo that hasn’t been said? The man’s a soccer genius. He’s electric. He’s a powerhouse. He’s a serial winner. He’s a must-have for your Ultimate Team.
GK: Alisson, Liverpool, 90 Rated -- Liverpool’s shot stopper is the number two number one yet again, which is no real surprise after he missed some chunks of last season through injury.
RB: Dani Carvajal, Real Madrid, 86 Rated -- Despite the superstars at Real Madrid, aside from Ramos it’s their unsung heroes making the cut here.
LB: Jordi Alba, Barcelona, 86 Rated -- Barca have had a disappointing season which mostly consisted of being carried by Messi, but Alba is one of the few who hasn’t needed rescuing nearly as often as the rest.
CB: Kalidou Koulibaly, Napoli, 88 Rated -- The Napoli CB has been one of the most in-demand men in world football for the past few seasons, and remains one of the game’s top centre backs.
CM: Toni Kroos, Real Madrid, 88 Rated -- The metronome of Real Madrid might be worth swapping in for chemistry, even if a regular CM doesn’t quite fit our formation.
RW: Mo Salah, Liverpool, 90 Rated -- Salah is one of the best players in the world, but he plays Messi’s position, so he’s kept out of the team.
LW: Sadio Mane -- Salah’s teammate joins him on the bench, this time kept out by Neymar. This duo make for a terrifying double substitution.
ST: Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich, 91 Rated -- One more sub than there should be but we couldn’t not talk about Lewan-goal-ski. The man won everything there was to win this season, but misses out to Ronaldo.