As we enter July and the excitement for FIFA 21 starts to build, it can be easy for FIFA 20 to be pushed to one side.
Ultimate Team is dominated by the most-dedicated of players, rendering online games even harder than before, while the more casual gamers may have moved onto other titles.
But if neither of those appeal to you, and you still want to get the most out of FIFA 20 before 21 is released at the end of September/start of October, then Career Mode can be evergreen.
No matter how far into the year it is, you can have a fresh feel with a new Career Mode save, but only if you avoid the habit of choosing the same teams every year.
Whether it be the team you support, one that you have a soft spot for or just a mega-rich club, there’ll always be one go-to save. But things can get a little stale after a while, which is why people start looking for challenges.
Sometimes the challenges come from just picking teams in difficult situations, and there are some good ones. But if that’s not enough for you, we’ve picked out a number of challenges for only the most serious of FIFA 20 Career Mode players.
Can you handle them?
Starting with a basic challenge, but nonetheless testing, why not turn your club into a training ground for the national team?
For years fans of England have bemoaned the lack of English players at the top Premier League clubs, with some believing it was detrimental to the Three Lions’ success. The FA looked to counter this by adding in homegrown rules but there are still allowances for 17 foreign players, although this could change with Brexit.
But why not take things into your own hands straight away, signing only English players when managing in England. Of course, you’ll already have non-English players in your squad so give yourself some time to phase them out, though not longer than two seasons.
And, of course, you can do this for whatever country you’re managing in, be it England, Spain or South Korea.
If focussing on a nation is too easy for you, why not limit your scouting area further by following the Athletic Bilbao model?
It’s a challenge many will have taken on in the past, but often with Bilbao themselves, signing players only from the Basque region while trying to break the Spanish duopoly.
But this is something you can put into place at any club from around the globe, although in some countries singling out a region may be tough. For example, in England do you stick to counties or just a wider geographical area – Greater Manchester or the north west for Manchester United or Manchester City. That’ll be entirely up to you, but once you pick you’ll have to stick with it, keeping Google at the ready when scouting to check a player’s place of birth.
If you don’t pick a team that already has a similar policy in place already, it will be tough to redesign the squad, but that just adds to the challenge.
If building local talent isn’t your cup of tea, why not in the complete opposite direction and play with a team full of international stars – with a hat tip to Reddit user badgenes94.
Now, we’re not just talking about having a multicultural squad with no limitations. We’re going full intercontinental, allowing just one player per nation. Want a 25-man squad to keep things fresh and guard against injuries? Well you better think of 25 countries you want to get your players from.
There’s also the added question of which players you keep from the starting squad, already taking up valuable country slots, potentially having to choose between a big star or wonderkid who shares a nationality.
You’ll never win anything with kids
One of the best additions to FIFA Career Mode in the past few years was the introduction of the Youth Academy. Rather than relying solely on lists of wonderkids or searching periodically for regens – players with similar stats to retired stars – you can now also scout and build your own world beaters.
Some Career Mode players may have the Youth Academy running in the background to supplement their signings, looking for only the best of wonderkids. But why not solely use the Youth Academy to build your squad?
Now we’re not saying get rid of all the older players straight away, although you can if you want to make things harder, but you can only add to your team from the Youth Academy.
Can you build the new Class of 92? Or will it all be too much for you, proving Alan Hansen right?
Now this is a challenge normally used on Football Manager, but it can be adapted to FIFA 20 and it is perhaps slightly harder as there are more restraints.
The aim of the Capital Challenge is to win every domestic trophy and the Champions League with a club from its nation’s capital city before moving on to another capital team and repeating – working your way down the Uefa coefficients. So starting with Spain and one of the Madrid teams before moving on to London, Berlin, Rome and Paris.
In some of the countries it won’t be too hard, especially as you don’t need to win the trophies in a single campaign – unless you want to add that difficulty – with the likes of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain representing favourable options. But when you get to Germany can you lead either Hertha Berlin or Union Berlin to glory, first in the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal before conquering Europe?
What makes this challenge slightly harder on FIFA than it might be on FM is that you only have 15 seasons to achieve the feat before Career Mode finishes. Can you do it in Europe’s top five leagues in that time?
The Pep Guardiola experience
If you don’t want to dive straight into a managerial spell, there is always the option of starting as a player and becoming the best in the world. But when that’s done, you can follow in the footsteps of many former players, moving into management.
Some former players, such as Pep Guardiola have managed to do so with such success, winning trophies both in their playing and managerial career but others haven’t been as lucky. Can you stick with it enough to emulate Guardiola?
You will still only have 15 seasons before Career Mode ends, however, so you’ll need to make a big decision on when to retire as a player.
Another addition to Career Mode in the past few years is the ability to manage national teams, alongside your club.
But it’s something many often avoid, sometimes even turning the option off when starting a new Career Mode, as it adds more games to a season.
So why not challenge yourself to do it, winning trophies at both club and national level, becoming the greatest manager of all time. It’s a fairly simple challenge if terms of the requirements, but the extra games from the national team especially in a tournament year will make the seasons drag – testing your patience and resolve as well as your managerial abilities.