EA Sports FIFA 21 Career Mode: Which players will receive the biggest ratings downgrades?

August 31

The highly anticipated trailer for FIFA 21’s Career Mode has officially dropped, with a host of new features coming to the popular game mode, including an interactive match sim, team schedule planning and new transfer options and improvements.

EA have clearly put a huge amount of effort into trying to improve this aspect of the game. In fact, they claim to have put a bigger focus on Career Mode this year while delivering some of the key features they know the FIFA community have been asking for.

“The Career Mode is very important for this year,” EA vice-president Nick Wlodyka told Goal.

“We’ve really made the biggest investments we’ve ever made to make sure we’re delivering exactly what our players are asking for. We’ve had so much feedback over the past few years from our players wanting to see more things they can control in career mode,” he added further, before concluding:

“We listened to what they want to be able to do, things they haven’t been able to do in the past.”

Check out the new FIFA 21 career mode trailer right here: https://youtu.be/JX3OU5weSOQ

As expected, a lot of players including Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, Frenkie de Jong and Robert Lewandowski are expected to get big boosts in overall ratings, as they all enjoyed a fairly decent campaign in the recently concluded 2019-20 season. Therefore today, we will take the opposite direction by revealing the names of some of the players who are expected to suffer from a dip in rankings.

Without further ado, here we go:

David Luiz – Arsenal – 83>81

David Luiz turns 34 during the season and is no longer the player he was when he was younger.

Arsenal fans have not been convinced of his performances since he joined from Chelsea and although he still remains popular in FIFA, he is set for a downgrade in his overall score.

John Stones – Man City – 83>81

Injury hampered John Stones’ 2019-20, but even when he played, the England defender no longer looked like the player Pep Guardiola hoped he could become.

Once the world’s second most expensive defender, Stones could be surplus to requirements at City this year and his FIFA 21 rating will reflect his backup status.

Mesut Ozil – Arsenal – 85>83

Mesut Ozil was once regarded as one of the best players in the world. Those days are long gone as subsequent Arsenal managers have chosen to overlook him.

The 31-year-old is determined to prove his worth, but that will not be in FIFA 21, where he is set for another drop in ratings.

Philippe Coutinho – Barcelona – 86>84

Philippe Coutinho won the Champions League in 2020 and even scored twice in the quarter-final. Even that will not be enough to allow him to keep his high rating in FIFA 21.

Barcelona’s former record signing could be on the move again this summer, but will need to find a team willing to pay his huge wages.

Jan Vertonghen – Benfica – 87>85

Jan Vertonghen’s decline this season saw him leave Tottenham for a different top-flight club. But where Christian Eriksen left for Inter, Vertonghen was only able to find a new club in Portugal.

He has seen his overall rating drop by two points in FIFA and after moving to Benfica, could see it decline even further when FIFA 21 is released.

David de Gea – Man Utd – 90>88

Once regarded as the world’s best goalkeeper, David de Gea has had a loss in form recently and this will be reflected in his FIFA 21 ratings.

Many Manchester United fans believe that he is not even the club’s best goalkeeper, with Dean Henderson returning from his loan spell at Sheffield United.

Giorgio Chiellini – Juventus – 90>88

Giorgio Chiellini turned 36 in August so it is no surprise that the Juventus defender is no longer ranked above 90 in FIFA.

He played just four Serie A games in 2019-20 and Matthijs de Ligt looks to be his long-term successor in the black and white strip.

Luka Modric – Real Madrid – 91>89

Luka Modric won the Ballon d’Or in 2018 ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and has been rated over 90 ever since.

In FIFA 21, this is likely to change as the Croatian midfielder has failed to keep up the level of performance needed to be considered one of the world’s true elite.

James Rodriguez – Real Madrid – 87>84

A disappointing loan spell at Bayern Munich was followed by another disappointing season back at Real Madrid for James Rodriguez.

The former World Cup Golden Boot winner could find himself rated under 85 in FIFA for the first time since FIFA 14.

Edinson Cavani – Unattached – 89>86

In the 2020 Champions League final against Bayern Munich when they were chasing a late goal, Paris Saint-Germain sent on Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting.

Edinson Cavani had played for PSG in earlier stages of the competition, but the club’s record scorer was released over a month earlier after scoring just seven goals all season.

Diego Godin – Inter – 90>87

Despite Inter having an impressive season where they finished just a point behind Juventus and reached the Europa League final, veteran defender Diego Godin looks set to lose his high rating in FIFA 21.

The former Atletico Madrid defender will turn 35 during this season and has seen his overall stats decrease in the game.

Jesse Lingard – Man Utd – 82>78

Jesse Lingard almost went a whole season without scoring or assisting a Premier League goal. Then, in the last game, he scored into an empty net in stoppage time against Leicester.

After making absolutely no impact in 2019-20, the Manchester United midfielder will receive a huge downgrade in FIFA 21.

That said, FIFA 21 will also come shipped with several improvements in career node, such as Player Development, Player Position Conversion and a new Active Training System

Player Development

With the new Player Development feature, you can now grow your squad and make the most of it when possible.

Players can be developed and specialized in various roles based on their playing position, and the attributes that best fit your style of play improved upon. Whether you favour playing out from the back, possession, or fast counter-attacks, you can instruct your players to focus their growth in the direction that you want.

Player growth is determined through XP accumulation. Based on how well they do in matches (their form) and their potential to grow, they will gain more or less growth XP. That XP is distributed to their Attributes, determining Attribute growth over time. By default, all players are placed on a Balanced Plan, meaning that the XP is distributed evenly to all Attributes.

When setting a custom Development Plan for each position as Active, you can choose a set of player Attributes and features to get all XP growth. Rather than “wasting” XP on Attributes you’re not interested in; the growth plans focus that XP towards:

  • Major Attributes (Attributes that generate the OVR of the player for their current position)
  • Skill Move/Weak Foot ratings (especially for attacking players)
  • Attacking/Defensive Work Rate
  • Attributes that fuel specialization (Attributes that may not contribute to the current position OVR)

Much like in real life football, the speed at which players develop depends on their age, abilities, potential, form, and playtime. Give a young player with great potential a few games and help him perform, and he will turn into a better player at an accelerated rate. Keeping him on the sidelines for too long can have the opposite effect, so it’s up to you to make the decisions that work best for your team.

Player Position Conversion

You now have the ability to train players in other positions. As part of Player Development, players can now be converted to other positions, allowing for more freedom and control to manage your squad. Position Conversions can also give a new chance to players that fall out of favour in their original role, giving you more flexibility with each player.

Image: EA Sports

New Active Training

With Development Plans now focused on the long-term Attribute growth of your players, our new Active Training system is focused on the overall match readiness of your squad by making use of an all new player performance modifier called Match Sharpness (covered in more detail further below).

The Active Training system introduces the concept of a Training Day which can take place on any day of your calendar, with the exception of Match Days:

  • Each Training Day will feature 3 distinct training session slots, each focusing on a specific training Drill and specific players.
  • Multiple players can now participate in each Drill, depending on the Drill type, allowing you to involve up to 15 players in each Training Day.
  • Every session consists of diverse Drills and various scenarios focused on improving a specific area of the game: Defence, Passing, Dribbling, Shooting or Set Pieces.
  • Training Days will always be pre-populated with the appropriate Drills and players based on the active Team Sheet, but you can always take control and edit them should you wish to fine tune your Training Day outcome.
  • Changing your active Team Sheet will also give you the ability to instantly update the Drill and Player selection for your Training Day, allowing you to train an entirely new set of players (for example: your reserves team sheet), assuming that you haven’t consumed your training slots.

Image: EA Sports

To read more about other features, including loan and transfer negotiations, broadcast improvements, player retirement and more, visit EA’s pitch notes in FIFA 21.

FIFA 21 will be released worldwide on all good consoles on 9 October.

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