Which central defenders should you add to your squad in FUT, even if you only have a small amount of coins to spend?
Good centre-backs are the key to successful teams in real life and in FIFA 21.
Just look at how Liverpool have struggled without Virgil van Dijk to see how important he has been to their success.
Similarly, having someone who can prevent attacks is just as important as finding good goalscorers in FIFA 21, but who should you add to your squad in FIFA Ultimate Team?
The best defenders this year are the ones with high pace ratings as they will not get caught out by speedy opponents. There is little point in having a player with high tackling stats if they cannot get near the ball.
Who are the best centre-backs in FIFA Ultimate Team?
The best centre-backs in FIFA Ultimate Team are defenders with high pace ratings that can compete with any opponent.
Strong defensive attributes are obviously important when tackling, blocking shots and cutting off passing lines, but the frenetic nature of FIFA 21 means that pace is the most important attribute in most areas of the pitch.
Many of the highly-rated players in FUT have great overall scores but low pace and this makes them unusable for all but the most proficient FIFA gamers.
As a result, you will rarely see people using Gerard Pique or Mats Hummels in their squads as their low pace ratings mean they can get caught out by quick counter attacks and fast forwards.
To keep up with pacey opponents, you will need centre-backs with at least 75 pace, but even with a low budget, you can find someone who fits your needs.
Fastest budget centre-backs under 5,000 coins
Thanks to the market crash as well as the game being out for many months, many quality defenders have become much more affordable.
A lot of very quick defenders are now available for under 5,000 coins, including Napoli colossus Kostas Manolas, who once cost more than 20,000 coins on both PlayStation and Xbox markets.
Amazingly, RB Leipzig have three different centre-backs with both a Pace (PAC) rating of at least 75 and an Overall (OVR) rating of at least 75.
Lukas Klostermann is one of the fastest defenders in the game and after being priced at over 10,000 coins when FIFA 21 was released back in October, is now much more affordable for new and casual players.
Fikayo Tomori has a pace rating of 80 and after his loan transfer in January is available in both Premier League and Serie A versions for Chelsea and AC Milan.
Spurs centre-back Davinson Sanchez is hugely popular in FIFA 21 as he is quick and powerful and has a high defensive workrate.
A lot of La Liga teams use both Real Madrid defenders at the back, partnering Nacho Fernandez with Eder Militao as they can easly keep up with even the paciest opposition forwards,
Player Club League PAC OVR Lukas Klostermann RB Leipzig Bundesliga 84 80 Kostas Manolas Napoli Serie A 82 83 Fikayo Tomori Chelsea Premier League 80 76 Fikayo Tomori AC Milan Serie A 80 76 Nacho Fernandez Real Madrid La Liga 78 80 Eder Militao Real Madrid La Liga 78 80 Bastos Lazio Serie A 78 77 Manuel Akanji Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga 77 78 Dayot Upamecano RB Leipzig Bundesliga 77 79 Jules Kounde Sevilla La Liga 77 79 Lucas Hernandez Bayern Munich Bundesliga 77 82 Ruben Vezo Levante La Liga 76 77 Papa Cisse Saint-Etienne Ligue 1 76 75 Abdou Diallo PSG Ligue 1 75 78 Mario Hermoso Atletico Madrid La Liga 75 80 Jason Denayer Lyon Ligue 1 75 79 Niklas Stark Hertha Berlin Bundesliga 75 76 Davinson Sanchez Spurs Premier League 75 81 Nathan Ake Man City Premier League 75 79 Eric Bailly Man Utd Premier League 75 79 Ibrahima Konate RB Leipzig Bundesliga 75 78 Fastest expensive centre-backs
More experienced FIFA gamers may be able to spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of coins on improving their squads.
Coins can be earned through winning games and playing in Rivals and Weekend League, trading on the market and selling players after getting very lucky when opening packs.
The majority of people will not be able to pay over 1 million coins for a player, but if you have a budget of at least 200k for a new centre-back, the players below are worth checking out.
The quickest centre-backs in the game are special cards, including both Team of the Year (TOTY) defenders Virgil van Dijk and Sergio Ramos, while the fastest centre-back in the game is a Team of the Week version of Kyle Walker.
Some defenders like UEFA Champions League Live Manuel Akanji and FUT Freeze Robin Gosens are a bit more affordable, but Akanji could see his price (and rating) increase if Borussia Dortmund can progress further in Europe.
A lot of the fastest centre-backs in FIFA 21 are Icons, who have good chemistry links with all leagues and can fit into any squad in FIFA Ultimate Team.
This list does not include players from Squad Building Challenges (SBCs) as these players are no longer available on the market and thus cannot be added to teams unless they are already in your club.
Player Club League Version PAC OVR Kyle Walker Man City Premier League TOTW 93 86 Lukas Klostermann RB Leipzig Bundesliga UCL Live 87 85 Paolo Maldini Icon Icon Icon 86 94 Virgil van Dijk Liverpool Premier League TOTY 85 96 Edmond Tapsoba Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga Future Stars 85 89 Sol Campbell Icon Icon Icon 84 85 Rio Ferdinand Icon Icon Icon 84 85 Marcel Desailly Icon Icon Icon 84 87 Joe Gomez Liverpool Premier League TOTW 84 85 Raphael Varane Real Madrid La Liga UCL Live 84 88 Marcel Desailly Icon Icon Icon 83 91 Rio Ferdinand Icon Icon Icon 83 90 Manuel Akanji Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga UCL Live 83 84 Robin Gosens Atalanta Serie A FUT Freeze 83 85 Sergio Ramos Real Madrid La Liga TOTY 83 96 Raphael Varane Real Madrid La Liga TOTW 83 87 Lothar Matthaus Icon Icon Icon 82 88 Paolo Maldini Icon Icon Icon 82 92 Fabio Cannavaro Icon Icon Icon 82 87 Diego Carlos Sevilla La Liga Headliners 82 87 Dayot Upamecano RB Leipzig Bundesliga Headliners 82 84 More FIFA 21 stuff
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