28 Sep 2020 11:50 AM +00:00

FIFA 18: Barcelona Career Mode Guide, player ratings, tactics, formations & tips

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The classiest football club on the planet? The flowing football of Barcelona is mesmerising to watch, and we all try to create their slick passing on the FIFA games year after year. However, in recent seasons Barca have had to change the way they play to adapt to the modern game, with the Spanish giants using pace as well as poise to hurt their opponents. With so much talent in their side and two of the best players in FIFA 18 in the form of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, Barcelona are a superb choice on Career Mode.

Team Rating

Of course, it’s a five out of five star rating for the Nou Camp outfit. Their 84 overall consist of 89 attacking, 84 midfield and 83 defence. 

Despite their incredible quality, there is a feeling that something is missing at Barcelona, with the squad not as well rounded as some of their European competitors. Can you be the man to find the remedy and take the club back to the top on FIFA 18’s Career Mode?



Barcelona are currently using a 4-4-2 formation. This is due to the injury sustained to summer signing Ousmane Dembele, and coach Ernesto Valverde wants the front two of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to have free movement at the top of the pitch. Fortunately for you, you won’t have to contend with Dembele’s injury, so you should revert to Barcelona’s more customary 4-3-3 holding formation. 

Marc-Andre ter Stegen beats Jasper Cillessen for the goalkeeper’s shirt, with a back four of Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Jordi Alba. 

Sergio Busquets comes in at defensive midfield, with Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta joining him in the middle of the park.

Luis Suarez leads the line with the dynamic Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele on the flanks.

Your bench should include Jasper Cillessen (OVR 81), Javier Mascherano (83), Sergi Roberto (81), Andre Gomes (82), Arda Turan (82), Gerard Deulofeu (82) and Paco Alcacer (79). 



Barcelona have the reputation for their tiki-taka possession-based football. Having Busquets, Rakitic and Iniesta in the centre of the park enables you to do this, but their 4-3-3 system also encourages them to counter-attack. With the pace of Messi (87 sprint speed) and Dembele (89 sprint speed) you can almost guarantee that the midfield three will be able to provide the final pass to put them through on goal. You will want to get the 93-rated Messi on the ball as much as possible, looking to cut in on his left foot, but when the ball goes out the other way to Dembele, the Frenchmans' five-star weak foot enables him to take the defender either way. 

Let’s not forget what striker Luis Suarez offers. The 92-rated striker’s 92 positioning, 93 reactions and 94 finishing means he will find space in the box and put the ball away without invitation so look to find him in the area. If you are still struggling to break a team down, central midfielder Ivan Rakitic has the ability to shoot from range (88 long shots). 

The transfer market

Starting transfer budget: £114.5 million

Starting wage budget: £417,000 a week

Who should go

Having a B side, treated as a completely separate club on Career Mode, Barcelona have a very small squad on FIFA 18. This means you can only sell a few players, with the only men you need to be getting rid of being Aleix Vidal and Adria Ortola. Neither man has the quality to be in contention for a first team spot, and you should look to sell Vidal for around £7.5 million and Ortola for £2 million. If you ship both of them, you will save a massive £148,000 a week in wages. 


Who to sign

Transfer budget after recommended sales: £124 million

Wage budget after recommended sales: £565,000 a week


In reverting to the 4-3-3 system, you will want a couple of out-and-out wingers in your squad, and currently you only have one winger outside of the starting line-up in Gerard Deulofeu. With Neymar's replacement Ousmane Dembele rated at 83, you must decide whether to bring in a more established starter or provide cover for the £93 million man. If you want a top-class starter, you should look to Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus. The German would join former teammate Dembele at the Nou Camp, and he would slot straight into your side with his 86 overall rating. The 28-year-old will cost you £67.3 million with his current wages at £106,000 a week. For that cost you will get the left midfielder, striker or winger with 90 sprint speed, 90 curve and 88 long shots. 

Alternative options:

  • Dries Mertens – Napoli, Age 30, OVR 86, POT 86, Cost: £64.3 million, Wage: £119,000
  • Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Manchester United, Age 28, OVR 85, POT 85, Cost: £63.5 million, Wage: £172,000
  • Dele Alli – Tottenham Hotspur, Age 21, OVR 84, POT 90, Cost: £79.5 million, Wage: £101,000
  • Sadio Mane – Liverpool, Age 25, OVR 84, POT 87, Cost: £67.8 million, Wage: £154,000
  • Julian Draxler – PSG, Age 23, OVR 84, POT 87, Cost: £66.9 million, Wage: £106,000


It’s a similar story up front, with just two recognised strikers at the club. If you need a goal late-on you will always want to have a striker on the bench, so it's important you bring one more in. With Paco Alcacer holding a 79-rating with an 85 potential, you will want to bring a young, hungry striker who can help the club in a few years’ time. Kasper Dolberg has proved his quality at Ajax, and you feel the young Dane is set for a big move in the next few seasons. The 19-year-old is rated at 78 on FIFA 18 with an 88 potential, with his best stats being his 87 shot power, 79 sprint speed and 79 ball control. The striker or attacking midfielder will only set you back £23.2 million, with his current wages just £9,000 a week.

Alternative options:

  • Breel Embolo – Schalke, Age 20, OVR 76, POT 88, Cost: £23.4 million, Wage: £31,000
  • Antonio Sanabria – Real Betis, Age 21, OVR 78, POT 86, Cost: £31.4 million, Wage: £20,000
  • Luciano Vietto – Atletico Madrid, Age 23, OVR 79, POT 86, Cost: £35.6 million, Wage: £52,000
  • Arkadiusz Milik – Napoli, Age 23, OVR 79, POT 86, Cost: £30.1 million, Wage: £62,000
  • Moussa Dembele – Celtic, Age 20, OVR 75, POT 85, Cost: £19.4 million, Wage: £37,000


Just one player has a contract running out at the end of the season, and you MUST renew it. It’s none other than main man Lionel Messi, so do whatever you can to keep the Argentine at the club. 

Managerial objectives

With only a handful of clubs being able to compete with Barcelona in Spain, it shouldn’t surprise you that your domestic goal will be to win both the La Liga title and the Copa de Espana (Copa del Rey). Things don’t get any easier in Europe as you will also be expected to win the Champions Cup (Champions League). This may sound like a tough ask, but with plenty of opportunities to rest your key players in La Liga, you should gain safe passage to at least the quarter-finals in Europe. 

Both your Domestic and Continental Success objectives are marked as critical as is your Brand Exposure goal. To achieve your Brand Exposure goal, you will need to gain £176 million from shirt sales over the season, and you can complete this by bringing in big names and scoring plenty of goals with your star players. With Lionel Messi in your side, it shouldn’t be a problem.

With the likes of Messi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique being academy graduates at Barcelona, progressing youth talent is an important part of the club. Therefore, your Youth Development goal as of high importance in Career Mode, and you will need to grow two youth players by 10 overall points. Once they have grown to that level you will need to play them in five matches during the season. Not only that, you will need to sign a player with a potential of 85+ to your youth squad and grow them by 10 points too. If you do some good business, you should be able to complete both goals at once. 


Back to the top

Barcelona reigned supreme in the Pep Guardiola era, winning three La Liga titles and the Champions League twice. However, you now sense that Real Madrid are on top in the Spanish league power-struggle, with three Champions League titles in the past four years. This gives you the perfect platform to take control of Spain once again with Catalan outfit Barcelona and assert dominance over Europe once more.

Full Barcelona squad player ratings

Player Age Pos. Country OVR POT Value Wage
Marc-Andre ter Stegen25GKGermany8589£66.4m£136k
Jasper Cillessen28GKHolland8183£28.1m£110k
Adrian Ortola23GKSpain7078£3.9m£42k
Gerard Pique30CBSpain8787£67.7m£211k
Jordi Alba28LBSpain8585£55m£189k
Samuel Umtiti23CBFrance8388£55.2m£119k
Javier Mascherano33CB CDMArgentina8383£18.9m£136k
Nelson Semedo23RBPortugal8187£40.6m£110k
Sergi Roberto25RB CDM CMSpain8186£36.5m£123k
Lucas Digne23LBFrance7984£26.2m£110k
Thomas Vermaelen31CB LBBelgium7878£12.6m£106k
Aleix Vidal27RB RMSpain7676£11.7m£106k
Ivan Rakitic29CMCroatia8787£87.5m£242k
Andres Iniesta33CM LMSpain8787£53.2m£229k
Sergio Busquets28CDM CMSpain8686£64.9m£220k
Andre Gomes23CM LW CAMPortugal8288£59.4m£132k
Arda Turan30CM RW LWTurkey8282£37m£150k
Rafinha24CM RM RWBrazil8186£43.9m£123k
Paulinho28CM CDMBrazil8181£31.6m£145k
Denis Suarez23CM LM RMSpain8087£40.6m£12k
Lionel Messi30RW ST CFArgentina9393£110m£497k
Luis Suarez30STUruguay9292£175m£449k
Ousmane Dembele20RW LWFrance8392£79.2m£132k
Gerard Deulofeu23LW RW RMSpain8289£61.4m£145k
Paco Alcacer23STSpain7985£34.7m£132k

Looking for other cheap high potential players?

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Who are you going to sign on Career Mode? Let us know in the comments section below.