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

Learn how to get back to winning ways at Borussia Dortmund on FIFA 18 Career Mode.

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

It was always going to be difficult after Jurgen Klopp left Borussia Dortmund in 2015, with the now Liverpool manager lifting two Bundesliga titles and a German Cup with the club. Thomas Tuchel looked to be a perfect replacement, with the club winning another German Cup in 2016. However, a disagreement with the board meant Tuchel left his post, and it’s been a bumpy ride since. Now on their second manager this season, Dortmund need stability, can you steady the ship and take BVB back to the top on FIFA 18’s Career Mode?

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Team Rating

It’s a 4½ star rating for Dortmund on FIFA 18, which indicates their 81 overall score. This consists of 76 attack, 81 midfield and 82 defence.

Formation

Borussia Dortmund have plenty of pace up front and out wide, so you should go with some form of 4-3-3 formation. We’ve gone for a 4-3-3 Attack system, but if you want more protection, perhaps against the bigger teams, go for a 4-5-1. 

Roman Burki gets the nod in goal, and he has the reliable back four of Lukasz Piszczek, Sokratis, Omer Toprak and Raphael Guerreiro in front of him.

Gonzalo Castro partners the dangerous Mario Gotze (87 dribbling) in central midfield, with ex Manchester United man Shinji Kagawa just ahead of them.

Summer signing Andriy Yarmolenko comes in on the right-hand side, with the exciting Marco Reus (87 long shots) out wide on the left. On loan striker Michy Batshuayi leads following the sale of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Arsenal. 

On the bench, go for Roman Weidenfeller, Manuel Akanji, Marcel Schmelzer, Julian Weigl, Mahmoud Dahoud, Christian Pulisic and Andre Schurrle.

Tactics

With the amount of the pace in their side, you will want to be counter-attacking with this Dortmund team. Look to free up Marco Reus (88 sprint speed, 86 finishing) on the left side and strike at goal, with the left footed Andriy Yarmolenko able to cut in and shoot from the other flank. Look to utilise architects Mario Gotze and Shinji Kagawa (both 87 dribbling) from midfield, and if you can beat defenders with the pair, it will free up space for your forwards.

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Training

Training is a great way to grow the abilities of your players, especially those who aren’t regular starters in the first team. To get the most out of your time, look to use high growth players, which include Christian Pulisic, Maximilian Phillip, Julian Weigl, Mahmoud Dahoud and Raphael Guerreiro at Dortmund.

The Transfer Market

Starting transfer budget: £47 million

Starting wage budget: £172,000 a week

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Who should go

Dortmund have a fantastic squad, but they have a lot of players in the same position. This provides a great chance to boost your transfer budget, and bring in some more appropriate talent. 

Sebastian Rode finds himself behind Mario Gotze, Gonzalo Castro, Julian Weigl, Nuri Sahin and Mahmoud Dahoud in the pecking order, so there is no real need for the defensive midfielder at the club. With an overall of 78 and 80 potential, look to sell him for around £9 million, and free up £44,000 a week in your wage budget.

It’s a similar tale for Erik Durm, who is the third-choice left back at the club. Barring an injury crisis, you won’t need him so sell the 76-rated full back for £6 million. Selling the 25-year-old will save £42,000 a week in wages.

As for the younger players, it looks as if Dominik Reimann (OVR 61, POT 74), David Sauerland (OVR 56, POT 68) and Patrick Fritsch (OVR 55, POT 71) will not make the grade at the club. You should be able to sell all three for a combined £500,000, making a saving of £12,000 a week in wages.

Loans

After those sales, your squad may start to look a bit thin, so there is only one name you should consider loaning out, Jan Niklas Beste (OVR 59, POT 78). Send him on a short loan just in case of injuries. 

Who to sign

New transfer budget: £62.5 million

New wage budget: £270,000

Another strike option

On loan forward Michy Batshuayi is your only realistic choice up front at the moment, and if he were to get injured or if you want to rest him, you will either have to shoe-horn a winger in there or play youngster Alexander Isak (OVR 68, POT 84). Bringing in another forward would solve this and also give you the option of playing two up top if you need a goal in the closing stages.

Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik would solve this, and you can sign the Polish international for £30.1 million with wages of £62,000 a week. That will get you the 23-year-old’s 86 finishing, 83 shot power and 80 long shots, which make up his 79 overall and 86 potential.

Alternative options:

  • Alassane Plea – Nice, Age 24, OVR 79, POT 82, Cost: £28.7 million, Wage: £36,000
  • Max Kruse – Werder Bremen, Age 29, OVR 82, POT 82, Cost: £32.9 million, Wage: £41,000 
  • Florin Andone – Deportivo de La Coruna, Age 24, OVR 79, POT 84, Cost: £32.5 million, £27,000
  • Vincent Aboubakar – Porto, Age 25, OVR 80, POT 83, Cost: £34.7 million, Wage: £18,000
  • Paco Alcacer – Barcelona, Age 23, OVR 79, POT 85, Cost: £34.7 million, Wage: £132,000

Depth at centre back

With Dortmund selling both Marc Bartra and Neven Subotic in January, there is less depth in central defence. Manuel Akanji has arrived, but if there was an injury to your starting defensive pair, you would have to call on his 74 overall rating.

You need to find a new defender who can provide reliable back up and in an ideal word, become a regular starter. This fits Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt perfectly, who is available for a snip at £16.9 million. The Dutch international is only 17 years’ old, but with a starting overall of 77 and a potential of 89, you can’t afford to miss out on him. De Ligt offers stats of 84 strength, 83 shot power and 80 jumping, so be prepared to offer him more than his current wages of £6,000 a week. 

Alternative options:

  • German Conti – Colon, Age 22, OVR 77, POT 86, Cost: £18 million, Wage: £11,000
  • Wallace – Lazio, Age 22, OVR 77, POT 85, Cost: £19.2 million, Wage: £34,000
  • Andrea Barzagli – Juventus, Age 36, OVR 84, POT 84, Cost: £5 million, Wage: £92,000
  • Bastos – Lazio, Age 25, OVR 78, POT 83, Cost: £18 million, Wage: £38,000
  • Jannik Vestergaard – ‘Gladbach, Age 24, OVR 78, POT 83, Cost: £18.7 million, Wage: £26,000

Contracts

Five players have contracts running out at Dortmund, only one of which deserves a new deal. Jan Niklas Beste is a promising youngster and you’ll want to see how he develops, so give him a fresh contract. 

As for Dominik Reimann, Roman Weidenfeller, Patrick Fritsch and David Sauerland, if you don’t sell them during the season you may as well release them at the end of their contracts.

Managerial objectives

The managerial objectives at Borussia Dortmund are tough, and you must bring your A game if you want to achieve them. The domestic success objectives are to win the Bundesliga and reach the semifinals of the German Cup.

Brand exposure is also of critical importance, and you’ll need to gain £132 million from shirt sales over the season. If you maintain performances on the pitch, score with your big names and bring in hot talent, this will be sorted for you. Not only that, you will need to earn £130 million from prize money over three seasons, getting £10 million from a pre-season tournament would be a good start. 

Continental success has a high importance, and for this you will need to reach the Champions Cup semifinals. This will perhaps be your hardest task given Dortmund didn’t even get out of their Champions League group this season. 

For youth development, you will need to bring a player through the youth academy and play them in 50% of games the following season. Lastly, your financial goal is to increase club value by 20% within three seasons. If you maintain a year-on-year profit, and perform on the pitch this shouldn’t be a problem.

Back in for the Bundesliga

It will be an impressive achievement to win the Bundesliga with this Borussia Dortmund side, but earlier in the season it looked like BVB could compete for the title once again. They lost their momentum, but you have the chance to start again and try to overthrow rivals Bayern Munich for the title. If you start the season strong, rotate your side well so they are fresh for the big clashes, you have more than a chance of making history of your own. 

Full Borussia Dortmund squad player ratings

Player

A

Pos

Country

OVR

POT

V

W

Goalkeepers

Roman Burki

26

GK

Switzerland

82

85

£30.5m

£47k

Roman Weidenfeller

36

GK

Germany

76

76

£700k

£23k

Dominik Reimann

20

GK

Germany

61

74

£350k

£4k

Defenders

Sokratis

29

CB

Greece

86

86

£51.6m

£97k

Lukasz Piszczek

32

RB

CB

Poland

83

83

£21.7m

£58k

Omer Toprak

27

CB

Turkey

82

83

£32.8m

£58k

Raphael Guerreiro

23

LB

LM

CM

Portugal

80

85

£25.8m

£46k

Marcel Schmelzer

29

LB

LM

CB

Germany

80

80

£16.5m

£56k

Erik Durm

25

LB

RB

RM

Germany

76

78

£8m

£42k

Jeremy Toljan

22

RB

LB

RM

Germany

75

81

£12.5m

£32k

Manuel Akanji

21

CB

Switzerland

74

86

£15m

£28k

Dan-Axel Zagadou

18

CB

LB

France

68

83

£3.4m

£12k

Jan Niklas Beste

18

LB

Germany

59

78

£250k

£3k

Patrick Fritsch

18

CB

Germany

55

71

£120k

£3k

Midfielders

Marco Reus

28

LM

ST

LW

Germany

85

85

£58.3m

£86k

Shinji Kagawa

28

CAM

CF

Japan

83

83

£38.9m

£66k

Mario Gotze

25

CM

CAM

CF

Germany

82

86

£43.7m

£60k

Gonzalo Castro

30

CM

CDM

RM

Germany

82

82

£30.7m

£63k

Julian Weigl

21

CDM

CM

Germany

81

87

£35.1m

£41k

Nuri Sahin

28

CDM

CM

Turkey

80

80

£18m

£56k

Mahmoud Dahoud

21

CM

CDM

Germany

79

87

£30.9m

£46k

Andre Schurrle

26

LM

ST
LW

Germany

79

79

£20.2m

£58k

Sebastian Rode

26

CDM

CM

Germany

78

80

£12m

£44k

David Sauerland

20

CM

CAM

LM

Germany

56

68

£120k

£5k

Attackers

Andriy Yarmolenko

27

RW

RM

Ukraine

81

81

£27.7m

£63k

Michy Batshuayi

23

ST

Belgium

80

85

On Loan

£106k

Christian Pulisic

18

RW

LW

RM

USA

79

89

£30.9m

£38k

Maximilian Philipp

23

LW

ST
RW

Germany

78

83

£21.9m

£46k

Alexander Isak

17

ST

Sweden

69

84

£4.3m

£16k

Jadon Sancho

17

LW

RW

England

64

86

£2.3m

£8k

A = Age

V =  Value

W = Wage

Who have you signed on Career Mode? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Alastair Pusinelli

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

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