FIFA 17: Borussia Dortmund Career Mode guide

Everyone loves an underdog, and everyone loves attacking football. Here’s our Borussia Dortmund FIFA 17 Career Mode guide. 

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

Jurgen Klopp transformed Borussia Dortmund into a side that competed for Bundesliga titles and even Champions Leagues, but you always sensed that they wouldn’t be able to sustain that success against Bavarian rivals Bayern Munich. Now there is a second wave of talent coming through, and under Thomas Tuchel they could be building towards something special. Their league form hasn’t been perfect, currently five places and eight points behind Bayern Munich at the top of the table, but they did top their Champions League group, ahead of Real Madrid.  

With players like Marco Reus and Patrick Aubameyang, they will have a chance in any match they play, with future stars Ousmane Dembele, Guerreiro, Mikel Merino and Emre More ready to break into the first team over the next couple of seasons. This makes them a fantastic team to use on FIFA 17’s Career Mode, as they are a slight underdog with plenty of potential.


How you should line-up

With five exceptional attacking minded players, picking the right formation is tricky with Borussia Dortmund, but your best bet is to go with Thomas Tuchel’s preferred 4-1-4-1 formation. 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 are all viable options as well.

In goal, Roman Burki is the only real choice, and he has Lucas Piszczek, Sokratis, Marc Bartra and Marcel Schmelzer in front of him. The versatile Lars Bender comes in at holding midfielder, but you could choose to deploy him at centre back, with Gonzalo Castro and Julian Weigl other possible holding midfield options.

In the middle, you have four dynamic midfielders in Andre Schurrle, Mario Götze, Shinji Kagawa and star man Marco Reus, with the pacey Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang lead the lineup front.

On the bench, you should opt for Roman Weidenfeller, Matias Ginter, Raphael Guerreiro, Julian Weigl, Gonzalo Castro, Ousmane Dembele and Adrian Ramos.

The Transfer Market

Starting transfer budget: £42 million

Starting wage budget: £161,000

Who should go

It’s not the largest budget amongst the larger European clubs, so you need to make sure that you make some money in the transfer market. Fortunately, with an improving squad, many players are just short of the grade and can be sold for healthy transfer fees. Captain Marcel Schmelzer may seem a surprise name to sell, and although he is the best left-back at the club, understudy Raphael Guerreiro has an 85 potential and will soon surpass him. Schmelzer is the weakest player in the starting line-up, so a new left-back will be bought anyway, meaning that there is no need for the 28-year-old. You should be able to collect around £13 million for him.

Nuri Sahin has struggled to get game time over the past couple of seasons, and he is now the seventh choice central midfielder. With Mikel Merino also in the squad, you don’t want to harm any of his potential game time, so the 79-rated Sahin needs to go. The Turkish international should get you about £9 million in the transfer market.

The last of the first team players is left-back Park Joo Ho, who is behind Schmelzer and Guerreiro in the pecking order. With another left-back as your main bit of business in the transfer window, you will certainly no longer need the 75-rated South Korean. He should be sold for around £3.5 million.

Four fringe players can be sold, which are Joseph-Claude Gyau, Dominik Reimann, Patrick Fritsch and Dzenis Burnic, and you should look to receive close to £800,000 for all of them.

What the team needs

After those sales, you should be nearing a transfer budget of £70 million. If you win a pre-season tournament, you could have an extra £10 million on top of that. This gives the opportunity to sign two first team players.

Left-back is your number one priority, especially after selling Marcel Schmelzer. Almost any defender in the world is attainable, but David Alaba and Jordi Alba are probably just out of your price range. Atletico Madrid’s Filipe Luis should be your first choice, with the Brazilian costing just over £30 million. The 30-year-old is rated at 85 with 91 stamina, 86 sliding tackles and 85 marking. His wages of £72,000 are reasonable enough to take him on.


–       Alex Sandro – Juventus, Age 25, OVR 84, POT 87, Cost: £45 million, Wage: £79,000

–       Marcelo – Real Madrid, Age 28, OVR 86, POT 86, Cost: £47 million, Wage: £115,000

–       Cesar Azpilicueta – Chelsea, Age 26, OVR 84, POT 84, Cost: £31 million, Wage: £86,000

You should still have the finances to sign another first team player, but there are many avenues you can go down. You could go for another centre-half, but with Marc Bartra’s potential at 84 there isn’t much point, and there aren’t many better right backs around than Lukasz Piszczek. With goalkeeper Roman Burki’s potential at 85 you then have to make a choice between a right and central midfielder. Wingers can cost an absolute fortune, so your hands are tied there. You’re best off going for a central midfielder instead of Shinji Kagawa. Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla is in the final year of his contract and can be snapped up for around £28 million. The 31-year-old Spaniard has 91 balance, 88 composure and 87 ball control making up his overall of 86. The attacking, central or defensive midfielder does have quite high wages of £94,000.


–       Blaise Matuidi – PSG, Age 29, OVR 86, POT 86, Cost: £33 million, Wage: £86,000

–       Yaya Toure – Manchester City, Age 33, OVR 84, POT 84, Cost: £17 million, Wage: £65,000

–       Ander Herrera – Manchester United, Age 26, OVR 83, POT 84, Cost: £27 million, Wage: £79,000


With all those recommended sales and acquisitions, you should be looking at a squad of around 27 players. That’s more than two players in every position, with many players able to cover a range of areas on the pitch, so you can afford to send a couple out on loan. Right-back, right-midfield and left-back Felix Passlack has a great potential of 84, but with a starting overall of 67, he will struggle for game time. There’s no harm in sending the 18-year-old out on loan for the season, and after a year he may well be in contention for a first team spot.

Jakob Larsen has a potential of 78, which is just about enough to keep him at the club. His rating is only 59, so this is a player that we would suggest sending on loan for two years as the 17-year-old still has much development to do.


Two Dortmund players have contracts running out at the end of the season, and you could easily choose not to renew them. Roman Weidenfeller is now 35, and you may start looking for a younger backup goalie than the veteran. Joseph-Claude Gyau is rated just 64 with a 69 potential, so he has no real future at BVB, and you should sell him as soon as you start your career.


Managerial objectives

Domestic success is the most important for Borussia Dortmund, and after four years without a Bundesliga title, something needs to change. Jurgen Klopp led the club to back-to-back league titles, including a league and cup double in 2012, and they need to return to those heights. The board will expect you to lift the Bundesliga title, which is possible considering the lack of competition outside of the Der Klassiker clubs. With that concentration on the league, you will only be asked to reach the semi-finals of the German cup, which should be achieved as long as you avoid Bayern Munich.

Brand exposure is equally as important, and your goal will be to sell a certain number of shirts during the season. This can be achieved by bringing in big name players, winning regularly and lifting trophies at the end of the season. Continental success still has a high importance, and the board will want you to reach the semi-finals of the ‘Champions Cup’.

For youth development, you will need to sign two players, with a potential of over 75, to your youth squad. You will then need to grow them by ten overall points, so be sure to use your training sessions on them. Your financial goal is the least important, and you will need to raise the value of the club, which can simply be done by winning league titles and European crowns.

Time to push again

Success has never been consistent at Signal Iduna Park, but eight Bundesliga titles speaks for itself. The Yellow Wall had to wait over 30 years from 1963 to 1995, so they won’t be getting impatient, but in the 90s they enjoyed their most successful period with two league triumphs as well as their only Champions League crown. It is clear that this club does have the potential to reach those heights again.

With Bayern Munich up against them, the journey is not going to get any easier, but with the reigning champions showing a couple of chinks in their armour of late, Dortmund supporters do have a glimmer of hope. Signings are needed, but this side is just two seasons away from being able to compete on all fronts. If there was ever a chance to take an underdog to being a European powerhouse on FIFA 17 Career Mode, that would certainly be Borussia Dortmund. 

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Alastair Pusinelli

First console: GameBoy Color / Favourite Game: Assassin's Creed 2 / Currently playing: Football Manager 2020