FIFA 17: Celtic Career Mode Guide

Despite five Scottish Premiership titles on the bounce, Celtic haven’t turned heads in quite a while, and European success should be your aim as the boss of The Bhoys. 

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

Celtic have dominated the Scottish Premiership for the past five seasons, and remain on course for a sixth straight triumph with the Glasgow club 19 points clear at the top of the table. The Scottish top flight has become a one-horse race ever since Old Firm rivals Rangers went into financial difficulty, but with the Ibrox side back in the big time, there is a sense that normality will resume over the coming seasons.

That should give you enough incentive to take on Celtic in FIFA 17’s Career Mode. The Bhoys need to become more competitive in Europe, after failing to get past the Europa League group stage last season. New manager Brendan Rodgers did manage to get them back into Champions League, but an unconvincing qualification and a 3-3 draw with Manchester City was all they had to shout about. With Celtic on FIFA 17, you need to be experiencing knockout football with the club and lifting two trophies at the end of the season.


How you should line up

Brendan Rodgers has opted for a now familiar 4-2-3-1, and you could choose to stick with this, but we feel a good old fashioned 4-4-2 will suit Celtic’s players best. Against the bigger sides you should consider dropping your central midfielders into defensive midfield.

Craig Gordon should be your number one goalkeeper, and the Scot has Cristian Gamboa, Kolo Toure, Erik Sviatchenko and Emilio Izaguirre in front of him. You may wish to consider Kieran Tierney, with the left back holding a promising potential of 82.

In midfield, you will want James Forrest, Scott Brown, Nir Bitton and Scott Sinclair, with plenty of goals in the strike duo of Leigh Griffiths and Moussa Dembélé.

On the bench, you should go for Dorus de Vries, Jozo Simunovic, Michael Lustig, Stuart Armstrong, Tom Rogic, Patrick Roberts and Nadir Ciftci.

The Transfer Market

Starting transfer budget: £11 million

Starting wage budget: £80,000

Who should go

With the standard in the Scottish Premiership so poor, it’s hard to work out what the Celtic standard is. Look to get rid of any players who don’t have a potential above 68, as you will need to get to an overall rating of 70 to be considered for a starting spot. That means reserve goalkeepers Leo Fasan and Logan Bailly can be shown the door, and you should be looking to collect just over £300,000 for both players collectively.

What the team needs

£11 million is a miniscule transfer budget compared to the big clubs around Europe, so it is absolutely vital you win a pre-season tournament and collect around £4 million. £15 million isn’t going to get you very far, and you may just be able to get two first team players out of that if you look at older players coming to the end of their contracts.

The 70-rated Emilio Izaguirre is your weakest link in the side, and with young Kieran Tierney coming through, you can certainly afford to go for a player in the twilight of their career. AC Milan’s Mattia De Sciglio may be right footed, but he prefers to play on the left side of the defence, and with a 76 overall rating and 81 potential, he would be a perfect signing for Celtic. The 23-year-old Italian has 87 stamina, 83 sprint speed and 79 acceleration, and will cost you around £9 million. His wages of £36,000 are a perfect fit for your wage budget.


–       Patrice Evra – Juventus, Age 35, OVR 82, POT 82, Cost: £5.5 million, Wage: £43,000

–       Jaume Costa – Villarreal, Age 28, OVR 78, POT 79, Cost: £9 million, Wage: £50,000

–       Maxwell – PSG, Age 34, OVR 79, POT 79, Cost: £4.5 million, Wage: £32,000

–       Emmanuel Mas – San Lorenzo, Age 27, OVR 77, POT 78, Cost: £7 million, Wage: £43,000

–       Eliseu – Benfica, Age 32, OVR 77, POT 77, Cost: £5 million, Wage: £36,000

With just a few million left in your bank account, finding another player for your starting line-up, but not so much if you look for a goalkeeper. Craig Gordon has maxed out his potential of 73, so a replacement is needed. Lokomotiv Moscow’s Guilherme may just about squeeze into your limited budget, with the 78-rated goalkeeper costing around £5 million. The Russian has 82 diving, 79 reflexes and 78 reactions, with the 30-year-old’s wages costing £36,000.


–       Diego Benaglio – Wolfsburg, Age 32, OVR 79, POT 79, Cost: £6.5 million, Wage: £43,000

–       Nahuel Guzman – Tigres, Age 30, OVR 78, POT 78, Cost: £5.5 million, Wage: £36,000

–       Javi Varas – Las Palmas, Age 33, OVR 78, POT 78, Cost: £4.5 million, Wage: 720


With a fair few players having very low starting ratings but with decent potentials, there are some Celtic candidates to send out on loan. Liam Henderson and Kristoffer Ajer are the two players that should go on to make the first team, but with their 63 and 66 ratings, they would only make a handful of appearance straight away. A short or season-long loan for the midfielders could be in order, and this time next year they could be in contention to make the subs bench.

Calvin Miller and Eoghan O’Connell have starting ratings in the 50s, so the pair definitely need be sent out on loan for two seasons. With potentials of 73 and 70, there is a chance they could make first team appearances in the future, or more likely be sold for a healthier fee.


Five Celtic players have contracts running out this year, and with three competitions to contend with every season, you will need a healthy squad. Regular first teamer Kolo Toure is the highest rated player at the club with 77, so giving the Ivorian a new contract should be an early season priority. Emilio Izaguirre is in a grey area, as if you look to replace the left back in a starting line-up, keeping Izaguirre at the club would be detrimental to the development of young starlet Kieran Tierney.

20-year-old defender Eoghan O’Connell has a potential of 70, so it may be worth seeing how the youngster performs out on loan before giving him a fresh deal. Efe Ambrose’s rating is only 69, and with five other centre back options in front of him you may be tempted to let the Nigerian leave, if you haven’t used him by January, consider selling the 27-year-old.

As for Leo Fasan, his tiny 60 potential means that he will never have a future at Celtic, and you should be looking to get whatever you can for the goalkeeper in the transfer market.


Managerial Objectives

The managerial objectives at Celtic are what you would expect, with the top priority winning both the Scottish Premiership and Scottish Cup.

With a high priority, you may be asked to sign a crucial player to the club in a certain position, and if this a defender or goalkeeper, you have had a massive stroke of luck. It is likely that you will need to make close to £10 million in shirt sales for the season, which can be achieved by winning regularly, scoring plenty and bringing in big name signings.

In Europe, you may only be asked to reach the ‘Champions Cup’ group stage, which will have already been achieved, and for your youth development objective, you will need to sign a youth a team player, give them game time and/or grow them by five overall points.

Back to the Celtic of old

You may find this hard to believe, but Celtic lifted the European Cup way back in 1967. Now, taking Celtic to those heights again would be near impossible but they definitely need to restore some of their European pedigree. With the quality that Celtic have, the domestic action should take care of itself, along with the other objectives.

With an incredibly generous continental goal, you should aim at the very least to finish third in your Champions Cup group. If you were to get through to the Champions Cup knockout phases, you would do incredibly well to get beyond the quarter-finals. But in finishing third in your group, you will go through to the Euro League. The Hoops could go far in this competition, and the quarter-finals should be your first aim. Celtic last got to a European final back in 2003, and it may now be time to put Scottish football back on the map. 

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Alastair Pusinelli

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