One of the most appealing parts of FIFA career mode is the challenge. For example, managing a struggling club back to its former glory or guiding a smaller club up the league ladder. These can require a long journey and are easier said than done most of the time. However, they create a story based on real life for players’ career mode saves. With the world of football constantly changing and boasting so much history, there’s always a team out there with a goal to achieve on the virtual pitch. Let’s have a look at 7 of the best clubs to manage in FIFA 22 career mode, each one posing their own kind of challenge.
1. FC Barcelona (La Liga)
Ten years ago, Barcelona were arguably the most dominant team in world football. Now, they’re on the verge of becoming a fallen giant. The Catalan club are suffering from ongoing financial problems, brought on by poor decisions over the years. It’s a similar situation on the pitch, with Lionel Messi being forced to leave the club in the summer and the squad getting older. An 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the 2020 Champions League showed fans that Barcelona are in decline. Their performances in all competitions this season have continued to be disappointing. It’s going to take a lot of work for a new manager to steady the ship.
The biggest task as Barcelona manager would be to bring down the average age of the squad. Long-serving players like Busquets, Pique and Alba are past their prime. There is plenty of youth, but time is not on your side. Transferring in world class talent is crucial, especially with Messi gone. Unfortunately, EA have not catered to realism and have provided the club with a high transfer budget. Players who want this save to be as authentic as possible, though, can easily just set themselves a cap. The long-term goal here is to re-establish Barca as the kings of Europe and La Liga. Through a quality youth scouting system, you may even discover a Messi replacement.
2. FC Schalke 04 (Bundesliga)
Over in Germany, another big club has recently become the perpetrators of their own downfall. Schalke has a long history of being one of the largest and most popular sporting clubs in Germany and the world. Fans recognise them as seven-time German Champions and regularly competing for Bundesliga and European titles. The latter has faded away in recent years. Financial difficulties have resulted in top players leaving and not being properly replaced.
It all came to a head last season, when The Royal Blues finished bottom of the league and were relegated to the second division. The team went through five managers as the troubled board of directors desperately tried to prevent the worst. This, of course, led to more money being chucked around. Can you bring stability to this great club and get them challenging for the Bundesliga again?
Schalke’s current team won’t exactly be bursting with quality when you begin your managerial reign, but getting them out of 2. Bundesliga is the first crucial step. After that, it’s time to persuade quality talent to join this journey of revival. Keeping them at the club will be the next challenge. Utilising the youth academy system is important, as Schalke have developed much world class talent such as Manuel Neuer and Mesut Ozil in the past.
The fans will also want to see their team match up to their local rivals Borussia Dortmund. Try your best to not lose in the derby matches. Clinching the Bundesliga trophy for the first time in the club’s history is the ultimate goal, but dethroning the nine-time successive champions in Bayern Munich will not be easy at all.
3. Inter Miami CF (MLS)
The MLS may not be the most exciting league to play in on FIFA, with the CONCACAF Champions League not featured, but there are clubs here with stories to make. David Beckham’s Inter Miami CF is one of them. In just their second season, the English legend’s newly formed club are struggling at the bottom end of the league table. They have failed to add to the high-profile signings of Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi, having missed out on star names like Lionel Messi. Transfers from lower US leagues are not going to be enough to take The Herons forward. Someone needs to come in and snatch up exciting young talent and reliable veterans who can still do a job on the pitch.
Your first job as Inter Miami’s new manager will be to ship out some of the lower rated players who aren’t going to come good, in favour of young players with potential. Youth scouting can help to make sure that the squad still has enough depth to compete. Older stars like Thiago Silva and Iniesta may be available to sign on the cheap as options for the short-term. There are plenty of strong teams in the MLS that possess great players such as Nani. Finding the right balance of promising youth and ready made legends is crucial to boosting Beckham’s lads up the table.
4. PSG (Ligue 1)
Okay, so PSG are far from what you’d call a struggling club. They are currently flying in all competitions after a difficult 2020/21 season in which they relinquished their Ligue 1 crown. This is partly thanks to their insane transfer window where they made some big additions to their squad of superstars. Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Lionel Messi are just the picks of the bunch. Fans hope that this will finally propel them to Champions League glory. With Neymar and Kylian Mbappe also present, this is a fun challenge to take on. The likes of defending champions Chelsea and finalists Manchester City, however, will ensure that it’s not an easy one.
With two transfer windows in a season, there’s opportunity for you to add even more quality to The Parisians. Left-back and midfield are two positions which could do with improvement. For the latter, Kevin de Bruyne would be an incredible signing to help complement Messi, Mbappe and Neymar in front of him. The club has tons of money so you have the freedom to basically go wild with signings. If long-term domination of Europe becomes the goal, then snapping up expensive youngsters like Haaland and Foden would be ideal.
5. AC Milan (Serie A)
Thankfully, this historic club has not fallen victim to one of EA’s name changes due to licensing issues. Serie A is a bit difficult to enjoy this year due to the lack of authentic presentation. However, AC Milan are always a good choice to do a career mode save with. The seven-time European champions have struggled to rediscover their past successes for almost a decade now. Their much-beloved squad of footballing legends moved on and financial troubles prevented the club from bringing in quality replacements. The Rossoneri did finish second place last season, though, inspired by the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. One more step forward is needed to start bringing the club back to its glory days.
Milan’s current team has the right balance of young and experienced players. Ibrahimovic, Giroud and Kjaer will be assets in season 1, but replacing them with higher rated talent afterwards is very important. A limited transfer budget, though, will require smart decision making and strong negotiation skills. Building a youth squad of Brazilian and Italian players will give you a chance to create a second version of the great 1990s/2000s Milan side. The fans want a team that will once again be the Kings of Europe.
6. Arsenal (Premier League)
The Gunners have been the laughing stock of English football for the past few years. That 2003/04 Invincibles season feels so long ago now. They are another side who have declined because of star players leaving and poor transfers. Problems run even deeper than that though. Negative environments behind the scenes have affected morale to the point where team captains are taking frustrations out on fans. A focus on developing youth has renewed some supporters’ hope for the future. However, a rookie manager and inconsistent senior players mean that there is still a long way to go. The challenge here is to perform a miracle and bring the future forward to present day.
Making sure that Arsenal’s bright stars like Saka, Smith-Rowe and Ramsdale get enough playing time is crucial to succeed as manager. If these players fail to meet their potential, then long-term this project becomes more difficult and virtually expensive. The older talent are replaceable, with the majority not being highly rated anyway. Getting Arsenal back to Champions League football and competing for the Premier League is the main objective. A bonus can be to try and replicate their Invincibles run by going a whole league season undefeated. Trust your own process.
7. Wrexham (Rest of World)
Under the new ownership of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, this Welsh club are the first non-league side to appear in a FIFA game. In real life, Wrexham compete in the fifth tier National League but are listed as a Rest of World side in-game. They can, though, be swapped with a club in League Two to allow players to embark on a ‘Road to Glory’ career mode. These kind of saves are always a long yet satisfying journey. Taking a club up the English league ladder, signing world class talent and eventually bringing them European glory is something every FIFA fan should do at least once.
With the eyes of Deadpool and Mac watching over, getting out of the lower leagues at the first attempt is ideal. No one enjoys being stuck playing Barrow for three seasons in a row. A top tip is to invest your money in the youth scouting system. The free agents pile is where players should be brought in for the present, as transfer fees are out of the equation. There are usually some hidden gems here so search carefully. When the budget increases, that’s when you can start looking at talent from other clubs. Loans are also very helpful, especially as a loan-to-buy option can give you the opportunity to develop someone and then buy them at a discount.
What other clubs do you think are the best to manage in FIFA 22 career mode? Let us know in the comments below!