Meta. It’s a phrase that a lot of people use, especially in the gaming world, and it’s no different for FIFA 21.
In FIFA, meta is simply used to describe a player that has something about them which makes them so effective in-game. It could be the height of a goalkeeper (Nick Pope), the pace of a defender (Nelson Semedo) or a striker with the combination of speed and shooting.
While a lot of the bigger-name stars will technically count as meta, for FIFA it’s often reserved for those you may initially overlook because of who they are, and how they play in the real world.
But what was meta at the start of FIFA 21 may not be good enough now, as the game and the way people play it has evolved. So who are the players you need to have in your team as we approach FIFA 21’s season-end?
We asked a competitive player for his top five, consisting of cards available at the time of writing, whether that’s through Squad Building Challenges (SBCs), or on the market/in packs.
Josh Buchanan – who you can find on Twitch here – is a FIFA Ultimate Team Verified Player on Xbox who has twice achieved a top 200 finish on FIFA 21 Weekend League, regularly hitting Elite by recording 23 wins or more.
FUT Birthday Renato Sanches
League: FRA 1
This is an SBC card that currently costs around 600k to complete and expires on April 23.
Renato Sanches has easily been one of the best central midfielders on the game since his first TOTW was released (82-rated) and the FUT Birthday upgrade is no different. This card is extremely well-rounded with many of Sanches’ in-game stats currently better than 90-rated Dutch maestro Ruud Gullit, who costs a staggering three million coins. Sanches is a must in your current Ultimate Team.
Being in Ligue 1 allows you to link him with players such as Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Youcef Atal, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes as he is Portuguese. Therefore, you can also build a strong meta team around him.
- 5* Weak Foot and 4* Skill Moves.
- 90+ Dribbling with in-game stats of 99 Balance, 84 Agility and 89 Ball Control.
- 90+ Physical with 97 Stamina, Sanches should be used as your box-to-box CM with his stamina.
- Attacking/Defending work rate as High/High.
Future Stars Reece James
League: ENG 1
RB Future Stars Reece James (available for around 350k) has been used by many of the players on the competitive scene since he was released. Not as an RB, however, but in the CB position.
In the last couple of months, the meta has seen full backs being used as centre backs. This is because Pace is the main attribute all defenders need. An RB can play CB on seven chemistry, as long as they have green chemistry links with other players in the squads.
Examples of some of these players are Joe Gomez and Future Star Curtis Jones, whose card is so well-rounded it could play as a CDM/CM.
- All Defensive attributes are 86+.
- In-game defensive stats of 86 Interceptions and 92 Standing Tackle.
- 91 Pace.
- 88 Dribbling with in-game stats of 87 Agility and 90 Ball Control.
FUT Birthday Youcef Atal
League: FRA 1
Youcel Atal (available for around 515k) is a very versatile player. He can play anywhere across the forward line you can have him in ST, CAM, RW and LW or, if you decide to play a 5-back, you can also play him as your LWB or RWB.
He is one of the few players that has 5-star Skill Moves and 5-star Weak Foot, making him unique. The 5-star Weak Foot allows you to shoot on either foot, making it hard for your opponent to know which way you are going to turn and shoot, adding to the unpredictability of your play.
If you are left-stick dribbling and enjoy a skill or two then Atal is your man. Again, It’s very easy to link him in a squad with players such as Renato Sanches, Neymar and Mbappe as they are all in Ligue 1.
- 5* Skill Moves and 5* Weak Foot.
- 97 Pace.
- 87 Shooting with in-game stats of 91 Finishing and Shot Power.
- 90 Dribbling with in-game stats of 89 Agility and 84 Composure.
What If Kevin Mbabu
League: GER 1
Mbabu currently costs around 290k. He is a little cheaper than the others but do not let his price fool you. Many competitive players are referring to him as the best makeshift CB on the game. And looking his stats, it’s little wonder why.
Depending on which direction you go with for your starting XI, Mbabu is easy to fit in your squad with players such as Manuel Neuer, Alphonso Davies, Joshua Kimmich and the End of an Era Bender brothers (Lars and Sven) from the now-expired SBC.
- 85 Dribbling with in-game stats of 88 Agility, 85 Balance and 86 Ball Control allowing you to turn quickly and play out from the back with your defenders.
- 96 Pace.
- 99 Stamina.
- 86 Defending.
FUT Birthday Federico Bernardeschi
League: ITA 1
Club: Piemonte Calcio (Juventus)
Juventus’ Federico Bernardeschi is a perfect, cheap alternative CAM or super sub currently costing around 45k.
With a Hunter Chemistry style applied, you can boost his shooting and pace stats to 96, making him a little hidden gem. To top this off, he brings to the table 5-star Skill Moves, 5-star Weak Football and has 90+ dribbling, which is essential for a CAM as they will spend the majority of their time around the opponent’s penalty box.
Bernardeschi also gets a strong green chemistry link with Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been one of the best strikers in the game all year.
- 5* Skill Moves and 5* Weak Foot.
- 86 Shooting with in-game stats of 94 Long Shot and Shot Power (perfect for a CAM who can shoot on the edge of the area).
- In-game stats of 92 Agility, 91 Ball Control and 86 Balance.
- Outside of the Foot trait.