‘FIFA 22’: The best defenders in Career Mode

Defences win you titles. Pick up the best defenders in FIFA 22 to get right on those wins in the game's career mode.

It’s not the most glamorous place to invest your transfer kitty, but as Liverpool discovered with Virgil van Dijk and Man City did with Ruben Dias, splurging on an excellent defender can make the difference over a gruelling league season. If you want to achieve long-running success in FIFA 22 Career Mode, you need dependable defenders.

That’s why we have been ripping through the Career Mode database in search of defensive players who offer a good balance of present capability, future potential, and reasonable longevity. After all, it’s no use signing a brilliant defender who is on their last legs. Pick up one or more of these folks and you should be laughing. Or at the very least not conceding laughable goals.

FIFA Ultimate Team – Best Defenders. Credit: EA
FIFA Ultimate Team – Best Defenders. Credit: EA

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Ruben Dias
Club: Manchester City
Age: 24
Current Rating: 87
Future Potential: 91

Virgil van Dijk had been central to Liverpool claiming Champions League and Premier League titles back to back, and Ruben Dias’ arrival at Man City had a similarly strong impact, helping Pep’s team to reclaim their domestic league title and bringing them to their first Champions League final. Expensive and with only decent future growth potential, Dias is nevertheless just the player you want to finish off a team.

Trent Alexander-Arnold
Club: Liverpool
Age: 22
Current Rating: 87
Future Potential: 92

One of those players whose age makes you do a double take, TAA is a Liverpool legend already at just 22 years old, winner of the Champions League and a vital part of the team that claimed the club’s first championship in 30 years. He still has solid growth potential too, from a very high base, and his flexibility is an asset to any Career Mode team.

Matthijs de Ligt
Club: Piemonte Calcio (aka Juventus)
Age: 22
Current Rating: 85
Future Potential: 90

Fellow graduates of the Ajax team that nearly made it to the Champions League final in 2019 would head to the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona, so it was slightly surprising to see Matthijs de Ligt opt for the relatively less glamorous Serie A with Juventus. His progress there hasn’t been that swift, either, but over time his decision to join a defensive finishing school understudying the likes of Chiellini and Bonucci must surely bear fruit. The Career Mode authors evidently agree, as he offers great present-day stats, and should be a titan of central defence in a few years’ time.

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Theo Hernandez
Club: AC Milan
Age: 23
Current Rating: 84
Future Potential: 90

Everyone in the FIFA community obsesses over Ferland Mendy, but it’s Serie A’s pre-eminent French left-back who makes it onto this list, thanks to his fantastic future potential and present-day strengths. Theo Hernandez is the sort of player who you can pick up for left-back and then never have to worry about the position again.

Jules Kounde
Club: Sevilla
Age: 22
Current Rating: 83
Future Potential: 89

A Roman Abramovich rounding error away from joining Chelsea in summer ’21, Kounde stayed at Sevilla after the Blues reportedly refused to meet his release clause price tag. The French centre-back is worth signing for your team, though, if you find Sevilla’s digital moneymen more amenable to your advances, and while he may not be as solid as the very best today, he will be by the time you bed him in over the next few seasons.

Presnel Kimpembe
Club: Paris Saint-Germain
Age: 26
Current Rating: 83
Future Potential: 87

At the time of writing, Kimpembe is probably still buzzing after his team of Parisian galacticos dispatched Manchester City with some style in an early Champions League group encounter. But even in a defence that includes Sergio Ramos and Ashraf Hakimi, Kimpembe is a standout talent.

FIFA Ultimate Team – Best Defenders. Credit: EA
FIFA Ultimate Team – Best Defenders. Credit: EA

Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Club: Manchester United
Age: 23
Current Rating: 83
Future Potential: 87

The modern full-back is expected to bomb forward and do attacking things, which hasn’t always been AWB’s forte, but fortunately for the English right-sided defender, that is less of an issue in FIFA 22. There, his excellent defensive stats and potential to grow into a Trent-style all-rounder make him a solid pickup.

Cristian Romero
Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Age: 23
Current Rating: 82
Future Potential: 87

Signed in the summer during a period of upheaval, Argentinian defender Romero is actually a fantastic acquisition for Spurs, as his FIFA rating range suggests. He is pretty good today, and once he has the chance to grow into a more rounded player, he could be one of the best defenders in the Premier League. Not a bad choice for your Career team.

Pau Torres
Club: Villarreal
Age: 24
Current Rating: 82
Future Potential: 89

Not a name that we imagine Manchester United fans enjoy hearing, Pau Torres is a superb defender in Unai Emery’s Europa League-winning Villarreal side. In FIFA he has phenomenal future potential to go with his solid present-day stats. He won’t do endgame things from day one, but he may still be there by the endgame.

Dayot Upamecano
Club: Bayern Munich
Age: 22
Current Rating: 82
Future Potential: 90

Bayern’s big summer signing was this RB Leipzig colossus. Over six feet tall but still light and agile on his feet, Upamecano is a credible lead defender in a Career Mode team challenging for honours, but it’s his future potential that really seals the deal.

Eder Militao
Club: Real Madrid
Age: 23
Current Rating: 82
Future Potential: 89

Ramos and Varane’s departures from Real Madrid mean we will hopefully get to see more of Eder Militao this season after a couple of years in bit-part roles following his big-money move from Liga NOS. Militao is still young, a very solid choice for a Career defence, and has lots of future potential undimmed by his sub status to date.

Alphonso Davies
Club: Bayern Munich
Age: 20
Current Rating: 82
Future Potential: 89

Champions League-winning Canadian starlet Alphonso Davies is an astonishingly good footballer today, so his relatively low base rating is a bit of a puzzle, but he does at least have excellent future potential, as anyone who has seen him play can attest.

Honourable Mentions

If none of those appeal, fit your team or answer your agents’ calls, we also like the look of Joe Gomez, Ben Chilwell and Reece James from the Premier League, the Bundesliga’s Niklas Sule, Nordi Mukiele and Edmond Tapsoba, and LaLiga’s Clement Lenglet.

FIFA 22 launched on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, and Google Stadia on October 1.

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