As summer arrives, excitement is growing as fans prepare for Euro 2020.
For some, the excitement is built through buying football shirts, collecting stickers, or consuming the various team previews available. However, others like to prepare for tournaments by playing them on video games.
Unfortunately, FIFA 21 will not have a Euro 2020 game mode as PES secure the rights for the tournament yet again, with EA Sports last producing a European Championships game in 2012. But that doesn’t mean you can’t experience Euro 2020-lite (as we’ll call it) on FIFA 21. Through the game’s Custom Tournament mode, you can create your own tournament to mirror Euro 2020 as close as possible, though there will be a few minor differences.
First of all, Euro 2020 will have 24 teams but on FIFA 21’s Custom Tournament set up you can either go for 16 (as it was previously) or 32. Secondly, not all 24 Euro 2020 participants are available with the likes of Croatia, Ukraine, Slovakia and North Macedonia absent. And finally, if you want to go for the 32-team group, you will need to add five countries from elsewhere as there are only 27 European international teams on FIFA 21 (including 20 actually in Euro 2020).
But it can still be fun. The question is, who should you try to take to Euro 2020-lite glory? Which teams will give you the best experience, or biggest challenge? We’ve picked out the five most fun international teams to play with on FIFA 21 and highlighted why they’ll be so great.
All squads correct as on 08/06/21 on PlayStation 5 version of FIFA 21, and default options without the use of editing.
Highest-rated player: Harry Kane (89)
Default formation: 4-3-3
Football’s coming home, right? Well, even if it doesn’t in the real world, you can bring football home on FIFA 21 with the Three Lions boasting a decent squad. In terms of mirroring Euro 2020, there are some players missing as Harry Maguire is not included in the default squad, while the likes of Danny Ings and Eric Dier are options despite not being in the final 26.
But working with what you’re given, the 4-3-3 formation is probably ideal, as you can use a midfield trio of Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice and Mason Mount, though Kalvin Phillips is another option. There’s an exciting attack too, with Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Jadon Sancho the default trio, with the latter boasting five-star Skill Moves while Kane has 91 finishing and five-star Weak Foot, which you will need to make up for his lack of pace.
But they aren’t the only options as you also have the likes of Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Phil Foden and Ings to rotate. At the back, options are thin, especially without Trent Alexander-Arnold and Maguire but, if you play on the front foot, you should be fine.
Highest-rated player: Ciro Immobile (87)
Default formation: 4-3-3
If you want a decent all-round team that will still add a bit of a challenge to your Euro 2020-lite hopes, look no further than Italy. The Azzurri don’t have any world-beaters in their 4-3-3, but there also aren’t any significant weak points. The default back five consists of Gianluigi Donnarumma, Leonardo Bonucci, Francesco Acerbi, Alessandro Florenzi and Leonardo Spinazzola, but you can call upon Giorgio Chiellini and Alessio Romagnoli on the bench.
Italy’s midfield trio is pretty much set with Jorginho and Marco Verratti joined by Nicolo Barella, with the latter providing some much-needed pace to back up for his partners, but they are all accomplished passers and can help you build up in attack if you’re a patient player. Then there’s the attacking trio and while Ciro Immobile is a more-than-capable striker, it’s Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Chiesa who catch the eye on the wings. Both players have four-star Skill Moves and four-star Weak Foot with 85+ Pace and decent finishing to cause problems.
Highest-rated player: Cristiano Ronaldo (92)
Default formation: 4-3-3
When did Portugal become such a great side? Of course, we all know of the quality they possess, and they are reigning European champions, but Portugal’s growth into a well-rounded side has sneaked up on some. Of course, the eyes will automatically draw to Cristiano Ronaldo at the spearhead of their default 4-3-3, with five-star Skill Moves, four-star Weak Foot and 93 Shooting alongside so many other high attributes. And he is flanked by Diogo Jota and Bernardo Silva who both boast four-star Skill Moves, while the former also has five-star Weak Foot. But if you want to switch it up, you have the likes of Andre Silva and Joao Felix on the bench.
The default midfield trio consists of Sergio Oliveira, Danilo Pereira and some guy called Bruno Fernandes, whose Passing of 89 is unrivalled in the Portugal squad and you can also push him further forward thanks to his 85 Dribbling and 86 Shooting. The defence is solid, too, with a back four of Raphael Guerreiro, Ruben Dias, Pepe and Joao Cancelo protecting Rui Patricio in goal, with two 85s and two 83s (plus an 81) in terms of ratings. Portugal’s depth is pretty decent, too.
Highest-rated player: Emil Forsberg (81)
Default formation: 4-2-4
Moving away from the so-called ‘Big Boys’, Sweden provide an interesting prospect with their default 4-2-4. They don’t have any standout names on the pitch, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn’t involved (in Euro 2020 or their default squad) but on FIFA 21 you could do something with them. Emil Forsberg is the highest-rated player in Sweden’s default squad with an overall of 81, and he is fairly decent with four-star Skill Moves and Weak Foot but he does lack the pace you’d want from a winger. He is joined in the attack by Dejan Kulusevski, Robin Quaison and Alexander Isak, with the latter boasting four-star Skill Moves and five-star Weak Foot, with 81 Finishing to help put away your chances.
Further back, Seb Larsson is still going strong in the midfield, but his overall of 73 will be sad reading for his Premier League-based fans who will remember his time in England fondly. You may want to swap him, or partner Kristoffer Olsson, with Gustav Svensson or Albin Ekdal, who will provide more defensive cover — but they are seriously lacking pace. Victor Lindelof is the highlight of an underwhelming defence, but if you are good enough to work with what you’re given, Sweden could be a good proposition.
Highest-rated player: Lukas Hradecky (83)
Default formation: 5-3-2
So, you want a big challenge? The biggest challenge for FIFA 21 and your Euro 2020-lite? Finland are the lowest-rated international team among those who have qualified for Euro 2020 and most names will be new for those who don’t closely follow the nation. But that’s what makes them such an interesting team to use, and a good chance for you to achieve (virtual) glory to commemorate their first visit to the international stage.
Of course, if you ask someone to name an active Finnish footballer, they’re most likely to say Teemu Pukki, and the 76-rated striker will be key to your successes. He has 76 Pace and 75 Shooting, admirable attributes for his overall, meaning he can cause problems to the opposition defence when you get used to him. In midfield, Glen Kamara provides a good defensive-minded option with 72 Defence but he can also help you move the ball up the pitch with 76 Dribbling (his four-star Weak Foot is also a good use). The back five isn’t great, but having Lukas Hradecky in goal will certainly help. This team isn’t about being the most exciting to use, this is about achieving virtual greatness.