FIFA 16 Career Mode: Serie A Wonderkid XI
Italy is home to some of the best young footballing talent in the world – just check out this team.
There was a time when Italian teams were feared across Europe, and rightfully so – AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus and even the likes of Lazio and Roma have all had great success over the years in European competition. Although Serie A has been eclipsed by the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga in more recent years, Italian football is on the brink of a resurgence, led by a youthful, exciting Juventus side and a new generation of home-grown talent, and that’s reflected in FIFA 16.
Italy has always been a hotbed for flamboyant and skillful football, as well as tactically-astute defensive play, and many of these eleven players certainly share those characteristics. If you’re shopping in Serie A and money is no object, you should be throwing money at Juventus to lure Paul Pogba over to your team – arguably the best Career Mode signing in the game this year – but otherwise, take a look at Serie A’s top wonderkids below and pick up a few to really bolster your squad.
Alright, so we’ve cheated a little bit. We try and stick to 21-and-under when it comes to our wonderkid teams, but that’ll get you nowhere if you’re looking for a young keeper in Serie A. Anyway, Perin is only 22, so it’s not a big deal, right? Plus, he’s one of the best young keepers in the world – according to EA at least – so he’s a worthy choice to mind your net for the next decade. Indeed, he comes in at a very healthy 81 overall – including a majestic 90 reflexes – and he’ll grow into an all-around shot-stopping monster given enough training, rising up to 88 overall.
We’ve often lamented the dearth of quality right-sided players in FIFA 16, so it’s no surprise that Serie A suffers from the same fate. As such, we’ve been forced to put a left back at the right back spot, but with special consideration. Mattiello is left footed, but his four star weak foot rating makes him pretty adaptable, and more than capable on either side of the defence. More importantly, he has good pace to attack the channels, and loads of growth potential too, going from 71 to 83 overall with the right mix of game time and training.
Rugani has been one of the standout young stars in European football for the last couple of years, providing a rock solid foundation that helped Empoli achieve promotion to Serie A, and then stay there last season. Now he’s back at Juventus forcing his way into the first team at just 20 years old, and you’d be well-advised to buy him as soon as you can, because FIFA has him rated as one of the most promising centre backs in the game, with a potential overall of 88, and 80+ defending stats across the board. Make no mistake – Daniele Rugani is the next in a long line of world-class Italian centre backs.
Romagnoli doesn’t start or finish his career quite as emphatically as Rugani, going from 75 to 87 overall, but he’s still a brilliant signing. The two are very similar players stats-wise – they both have average pace for centre backs, and they’re strong, powerful tacklers with little in the way of technical ball skills. Play them together, and you’ll have a stout Italian wall at the heart of your defence, and the two will develop into one of the best centre back pairings in world football. Alas, you can’t sign Romagnoli in the first year, but trust us – he’s worth the wait.
Murru isn’t quite as highly rated as he was in FIFA 15, but he’s still a very solid choice for your left back spot, even if he’s arguably the weakest member of this team. Like Mattiello, he starts with really good pace – 78 acceleration and 80 sprint speed – despite his low overall rating, and he’ll grow into a very capable attacking full back who can attack the channels, create two-on-ones and make space for your attacking players to work. His potential overall is only 80, but that belies his effectiveness – he has all the right stats to be a very good left back.
Berardi is another long term FIFA Career Mode favourite, and EA have rated the young Italian very highly for a few years now. Berardi’s strength is that he arrives already at a high level. His 80 overall stat includes 86 pace, 83 dribbling and 80 finishing – a surprisingly high number for a winger at such a young age. That, along with his excellent stamina, makes Berardi a massive threat coming off the right wing, and he’ll only get better with time and training, reaching a potential ceiling of 86 overall. And as a little bonus, he’s a top quality penalty taker too.
Bruno Fernandes/Danilo Cataldi
Fernandes and Cataldi are very similar players so you could take either of them, really. Both grow up to 83 overall, and have solid, all around stats for central midfielders. At a push, we’d take Fernandes – he’s noticeably quicker across the ground than Cataldi, but the extra year on his contract might make him a little more expensive to buy. Still, neither will cost you that much, and although they don’t have world class potential, you can sell them on for a solid profit later in your career.
Central Attacking Midfield
AC Milan’s young Moroccan prodigy has been on the football radar since the age of 13, in no small part thanks to his freestyle video with Neymar. Now 17 years old, he’s already played for the Moroccan national side, and he’s a regular favourite of FIFA and Football Manager players looking for young starlets. FIFA 16 is no different, and he’ll grow a massive 20 points if you train him right – from 67 to 87 overall – becoming a dynamic playmaker in your midfield thanks to his high potential passing and dribbling stats, and five star skill moves. All his primary skills are in attack so you’ll need to pair him with someone more defensively minded, but he’ll contribute plenty of goals and assists if you do.
Balde Diao Keita
In many ways, Keita is the perfect left winger, if you don’t need him to do any defensive work. For starters, just look at that pace – 89 acceleration and 91 sprint speed makes Keita one of the quickest wingers in the game, and he backs that up with decent dribbling and physical stats too. The best thing about Keita is that his dribbling, shooting and physical stats have loads of room for improvement if you get him onto the training pitch. His ceiling is 86 overall – 10 points higher than his starting rating – so as you can imagine, he turns into a real handful.
The more eagle-eyed of our readers may remember that we’ve written about Dybala before, in glowing terms. His comparisons to compatriot Lionel Messi are well-founded stylistically – his 89 acceleration, 89 ball control and four star skill moves let him breeze past defenders, and he is already a good free kick taker (rated 80 at the start of the game). His 79 shooting shouldn’t be taken too literally either – it’s only let down by his long shooting and power, and every other stat is 80+. He may not replace Lionel Messi, but with 88 overall potential, he’s primed to become the next great Argentinian hope.
Niang has struggled with injuries recently including a fractured metatarsal, but he remains an extremely promising talent in European football. The Frenchman brings bundles of pace and skill on the ball to your side, terrorising defenders and always looking to get in behind the back line. He is also deceptively strong – although his physical overall is fairly low, his strength stat is 75, which makes him tricky to get off the ball, even for bigger, tougher centre backs. Niang will grow up to a potential 84 overall, making him a nice foil for Dybala.