It may be July and the excitement surrounding FIFA 21 is starting to build, but there are still ways to get the most out of FIFA 20.
For some players, Ultimate Team has been the go-to whether it be Squad Battles, Rivals or FUT Champs. But now, the online game modes are dominated by the highly-dedicated, intent on winning, sometimes sucking the fun away.
But that’s where Career Mode comes in. Millions of people will have already started millions of Career Mode saves on FIFA 20 and a lot of those might still be going strong. But even in July you can start from scratch and experience a full Career Mode, whether it be splashing the cash with the best teams or giving yourself a real challenge with a minnow.
So, which team should you go for? We’ve picked out nine, breaking them down into the level of challenge they’ll bring from the easiest – trying to win as much while managing huge budgets – to the hardest, where it will be a slog but the reward will be sweet.
Please note: some board expectations may vary per save.
FIFA 20 Career Mode easiest teams to use
League: Serie A
Rating: 5 stars
Transfer budget: £103,806,440
Club worth: £1,408,500,000
There are so many big teams you can use on FIFA 20 Career Mode if you want to dominate, but Piemonte Calcio provide a novel opportunity. Not named Juventus due to licensing reasons, it’s not often you get the chance to win a FIFA 20 league with a false name. Or why not try and go all the way, winning the Champions League with Piemonte Calcio.
We say try, you need to do so to keep up with the board’s expectations which are to win all three competitions in the first campaign. There are also the usual shirt sale requirements and, within two seasons, you’ll need to have at least one player from the Youth Academy in the first team and playing 50% of games the following campaign.
Naturally the standout player for Piemonte Calcio is Cristiano Ronaldo, but Matthijs de Ligt is the long-term star with the potential to grow to 92 overall and being just 19 at the start of Career Mode – although he does turn 20 early on. One weakness for Piemonte Calcio, however, is their relatively small squad, particularly in the defensive areas, so you’ll need to spend some of that transfer budget on the back line.
League: Premier League
Rating: 5 stars
Transfer budget: £74,499,176
Club worth: £1,884,600,000
After 30 years in real life, it finally happened, Liverpool are league champions once again, securing the 2019/20 Premier League title with seven games to go. But can you replicate that feat in FIFA 20, with their title win naturally not being recognised until the next edition?. Well, if you don’t win Liverpool the league, it could cost you your job.
Winning the Premier League is one of three critical expectations of Liverpool‘s board, along with lifting the Champions League and FA Cup. They’d also like you to sign a youth player to the senior team in the same season they were scouted, playing them five times – as well as adding a midfielder to the Youth Academy. Not just that, brand exposure is key with shirt sale requirements, competition prize money and increasing the club worth all mentioned.
Liverpool‘s entire first-team is pretty much the strength of this challenge but the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez have youth and potential on their side. Although Liverpool do boast a big squad, their weakness is the quality outside their first team, so spend well to try and change that.
League: La Liga
Rating: 5 stars
Transfer budget: £169,074,000
Club worth: £3,114,000,000
Barcelona have the best player in FIFA 20, Lionel Messi, and for the first few seasons that’ll be great. But once he retires there will be a big gap in the Barcelona side, so it’s up to you to try and replace him before he leaves.
While doing that you will still need to win the Treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and the Champions League with no room for slipping up. Barcelona also have a high priority for youth development which is to sign at least three players younger than 20 years old, with potential greater than the average overall ratings of current squad members in their positions. Not to mention signing four midfielders to the Youth Academy and vast shirt sale requirements.
Outside of Messi, the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembele are the young stars, especially if you can keep the latter fit unlike in real life. But the biggest weakness appears to be the lack of quality back-up to Luis Suarez, with Martin Braithwaite only rated 75.
FIFA 20 Career Mode challenging teams to use
Rating: 4.5 stars
Transfer budget: £31,848,480
Club worth: £306,000,000
Ajax aren’t the hardest of teams to use but they do make for an interesting prospect in FIFA 20. Off the back of their 2018/19 campaign, the Dutch side lost a handful of their key players and have replaced them with younger stars.
Having done the Double in 2018/19, the board expect the same in FIFA 20 coupled with a journey to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, although the latter is a high priority, not critical. Understandably with Ajax, youth development is critical including the expectation to grow one Youth Academy player by at least 10 overall points and then playing them in five matches. Ajax’s board also want you to sign four youth players to the first team in the same season they were scouted and playing them in 20 matches. A low priority is to reduce the player wages ever so slightly.
Player-wise, the star man for Ajax is Hakim Ziyech and, unlike in real life, he won’t be a Chelsea man – unless you choose to make it more realistic. But the initial barrier for Ajax is certainly their youth, contributing to lower ratings that will come into play in the bigger matches.
League: League One
Rating: 2.5 stars
Transfer budget: £4,855,588
Club worth: £11,700,000
It has been a big drop for Sunderland since their relegation from the Premier League in 2017, having dropped down to League One the following year. Can you get them back into the Premier League? They reached the League One play-off final in 2018/19 and missed out on the play-offs altogether with the league ending early in 2019/20, but a return to the Championship will be a requirement in your first season.
And the board won’t want it done via the play-offs, they want the League One title – on top of an FA Cup run to the round-of-32 – although the league is the only critical priority. Low priority is youth development, which requires you to sign a youth player to the senior team in the same season they were scouted and play them five times, as well as signing two players younger than 20 with potential greater than the average rating of their direct competitors. You’ll also need to find a way to sell out at least half of your league home games – recording at least 85% attendance.
Sunderland’s squad is a mix of decent ageing players, and promising young stars, including Lynden Gooch and Elliot Embleton. But the challenge, once you get into the Championship, will be building a squad capable of competing at the top on a small budget.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Transfer budget: £8,344,336
Club worth: £31,716,000
Union Berlin enjoyed their first season in the Bundesliga, finishing comfortably above the relegation places and it can be your job to try and replicate that on FIFA 20. Can you start off slowly and make them the capital’s number one club?
To make things slightly less stressful, the board expectation for Union Berlin is to finish mid-table in the Bundesliga and reach the DFB-Pokal last-32, but those are very low priority. At medium priority is to sign a midfielder to the Youth Academy and grow one Youth Academy player at least five overall points before playing them in five matches. Union Berlin are another team with attendance expectations, this time to have 85% of your ground full in five consecutive home matches.
Union Berlin have a big squad at their disposal which will be key to managing fatigue, and can call upon the experienced Neven Subotic at the back. However, the overall potential of Union Berlin’s squad isn’t great and you will eventually need to sign new players if you want to challenge up the table, so start pinching those pennies.
FIFA 20 Career Mode hardest teams to use
League: League One
Rating: 0.5 stars
Transfer budget: £1,350,000
Club worth: £4,500,000
What happened with Bury last year was a low point in English football, as one of the oldest clubs in the land was kicked out of the Football League. But the decision came too late to change FIFA 20, meaning Bury are still available to play as in the virtual world. So why don’t you try and turn their fortunes around?
Understandably, given the circumstances, Bury’s expectations are just to avoid relegation and reach the last-32 of the FA Cup – although both are very low. What Bury’s board do want you to focus on, however, is to sign at least three players younger than 20 with the potential to grow higher than the average of current squad members in their position. It is also critical you grow 2 Youth Academy players by at least 10 overall point before playing them in five matches. Financially, you’ll need to keep salary growth under 20%.
What makes the challenge even harder is that Bury’s squad is currently made out of generated players, no higher than 60-rated and just 20 in total. You’ll need to rely on some loans while you fight as the transfer budget of £1,350,000 will not allow much business.
League: League Two
Rating: 1.5 stars
Transfer budget: £1,695,621
Club worth: £2,160,000
Moving to a team with a different outlook to Bury, Salford City had their maiden Football League campaign, finishing a respectable 11th. With lofty aims of reaching the Championship, can you help get them there, and beyond?
Although tasting professional league football for the first time, it is a high priority for you to win League Two with Salford City in their debut season – unlike in real life – as well as reach the last-32 of the FA Cup. But these are the only high priorities. Elsewhere, signing a midfielder to your Youth Academy and keeping an attendance streak of 85% in five consecutive home matches represent very low priorities that can be easily achieved.
The key man for Salford City on FIFA 20 is former Manchester United striker James Wilson, rated 66 with the potential to grow to 73 which will be important as you go up the leagues. Salford City do also have a fairly large squad for the level, but there are a few ageing players that could catch you out by retiring if you’re not watchful.
League: 3. Liga
Rating: 2 stars
Transfer budget: £2,744,536
Club worth: £10,062,000
Only nine teams in German football history have won the league four or more times, including Kaiserslautern. However, last winning the Bundesliga in 1997/98 as a newly-promoted club no less, Kaiserslautern have gone on a downward spiral and sit in the third tier of German football (as they will for FIFA 21 too). Can you take them back to the top?
The first step is to get them out of the 3. Liga, which is a high priority of the board alongside as well as finishing the season with £2,700,000 in the bank. More critical is youth development, with requirements to sign two youth players to the first team in the same season they were scouted and them playing them in 10 games. On top of this, you’ll need to sign two defenders to the Youth Academy. And there is another attendance requirement to contend with, this time 90% in five consecutive home games.
Kaiserslautern actually have a good squad for their level and it is full of younger stars with potential including Bayer Leverkusen-bound Lennart Grill and midfielder Gino Fechner. There are no real old players, either, meaning the biggest challenge would just be making it up the leagues.