Napoli have taken Serie A by storm this season, going the first 14 games of the season unbeaten. Only a recent defeat to Juventus knocked them off the top of the table, but with 35 goals scored already, you know they will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season. Gli Azzurri fans have had to wait almost 30 years for a league success, but this squad is one of the most exciting they have ever witnessed, and it can be up to you to convert all this attacking talent into silverware on FIFA 18’s Career Mode.
Napoli receive a four-and-a-half star rating on FIFA 18, with their overall at 81. This consists of an 82 attack, 82 midfield and 80 defence ratings.
Napoli line up in a 4-3-3 and that should be the basis of whatever system you use. This can be a 4-2-3-1, but you could be best off using the 4-3-3 false nine formation.
Former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina takes the number one shirt, with Elseid Hysaj, Raul Albiol, Kalidou Koulibaly and Faouzi Ghoulam making up the back four.
The midfield trio is well balanced, with Marek Hamsik joining up the forwards, Allan protecting the defence and Jorginho performing the box-to-box role.
In attack, the pacey Jose Callejon (90 sprint speed) and Lorenzo Insigne (94 acceleration) provide the width, with Dries Mertens through the middle.
On the bench go for Luigi Sepe (OVR 74), Nikola Maksimovic (78), Mario Rui (77), Amadou Diawara (77), Piotr Zielinski (80), Emanuele Giaccherini (78) and Arkadiusz Milik (79).
With so much pace up top, you will want to be counter-attacking with Gli Azzurri. If you line up with the false nine system, your front three will intertwine, causing havoc for defences. As you won’t be using a conventional striker, make sure you keep the ball on the deck, and instead of crossing balls into the box, look to lay the ball back to the midfield with Marek Hamsik (83 long shots) able to score from range.
Training provides the opportunity to grow your players’ abilities, especially the youngsters in your youth squads and those not receiving regular game time. Look to use the high growth players in your squad to get the most out of your time. These include Amadou Diawara, Arkadiusz Milik, Piotr Zielinski and Marko Rog.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £36 million
Starting wage budget: £180,000 a week
Who should go
Napoli have a nicely balanced side and a pretty much perfect sized squad so you don’t have much room to sell players. The highest profile casualty is likely to be former Watford man Juan Camilo Zuniga. The 31-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and is the third choice left back (OVR 73), so you should look to ship the Colombia international. You should sell Zuniga for around £2 million and save on his £42,000 a week wages.
The other man you can sell is third choice goalkeeper Luigi Sepe. It would leave you with just two stoppers, but the 74 rated Sepe is also out of contract so you will want to recoup his £4 million value and £34,000 a week wages before he leaves the club.
Who to sign
New transfer budget: £42 million
New wages budget: £256,000 a week
Deciding what kind of player to bring is tough, so you could wait until January to see how the side develops. Allan provides the protection in midfield, but with the Brazilian only holding an 80 OVR and 82 potential, you could look for an upgrade. Make sure you bring in a player with a high defensive work rate so they sit in front of the back four.
Top of the pile is Manchester City’s Fernandinho. The defensive or central midfielder holds that crucial high defensive work rate, and in the final year of his contract you could pick him up for just over £15 million. The 32-year-old has an 83 overall rating which consists of 86 aggression, 85 interceptions and 84 short passing. His current wages are a hefty £114,000 a week, but you may be able to negotiate them down.
- Javier Mascherano – Barcelona, Age 33, OVR 83, POT 83, Cost: £18.9 million, Wage: £136,000
- Bruno – Villarreal, Age 33, OVR 84, POT 84, Cost: £34.2 million, Wage: £52,000
- Ljubomir Fejsa – Benfica, Age 28, OVR 82, POT 82, Cost: £31.7 million, Wage: £16,000
- Idrissa Gueye – Everton, Age 27, OVR 83, POT 83, Cost: £36.8 million, Wage: £101,000
- Daniele De Rossi – Roma, Age 33, OVR 83, POT 83, Cost: £15.7 million, Wage: £64,000
Another strike option
Dries Mertens may be the man leading the line, but Arkadiusz Milik is the only conventional striker in the squad. With Milik holding the injury prone trait you will need more options, so perhaps look at CSKA Moscow’s Vitinho. The Brazilian can operate as a striker and attacking midfielder, and holds a 77 overall rating and 84 potential. The 23-year-old’s attributes include 83 agility, 83 dribbling and 82 long shots. You will need to match his £18.7 million release clause to snap him up, with Vitinho’s current wags at £40,000 a week.
- Lautaro Martinez – Racing, Age 19, OVR 72, POT 88, Cost: £12.2 million, Wage: £8,000
- Patrick Cutrone – AC Milan, Age 19, OVR 70, POT 85, Cost: £7.9 million, Wage: £30,000
- Borja Mayoral – Real Madrid, Age 20, OVR 72, POT 84, Cost: £10.9 million, Wage: £60,000
- Kubilay Kanatsizkus – Bursaspor, Age 20, OVR 70, POT 84, Cost: £9.1 million, Wage: £10,000
- Isaac Success – Watford, Age 21, OVR 73, POT 83, Cost: £12 million, Wage: £33,000
Five Napoli men have contracts running out at the end of the season, and you should look to renew two of them. Faouzi Ghoulam is coming up to the peak of his career, so you should give the left back a five year contract to keep him at the club.
Pepe Reina may be 34 years old, but he's still comfortably the club’s best goalkeeper. His 83 overall is likely to decrease this season, so perhaps only give him a one or two year extension.
As for reserve goalkeeper Rafael, right back Christian Maggio and Juan Camilo Zuniga, you should look to either sell them at the start of the season or release them at the end of the campaign.
With no Serie A success since 1990, it’s a sensible yet ambitious set of objectives at Napoli on Career Mode. Your domestic success goal has a critical priority, and you will be expected to reach the semifinals of the Coppa Nazionale and qualify for the Champions Cup in the league. You will also be asked to win the league within two seasons at the club.
For continental success, which has a high importance, you will need to reach the Champions Cup quarterfinals. Try your utmost to top your group to give yourself an easier second round tie.
Brand exposure also has a high importance, and you will be required to earn £106 million through shirt sales. Bringing in big names and scoring plenty with your star men will help you achieve this.
Your youth development objective has a low importance and for this you must sign a youth player and play them in five matches over the season. You must also grow a youth player by five overall points, and as soon as they have grown play them in five matches. If you prioritise this goal, you can notch off both aspects of it with just one player.
The financial objective is also of low importance, and you’ll need to increase the club worth by 20% within two seasons. Maintaining a profit and winning trophies is the way to go here.
Does glory await?
Back in their heyday, Napoli were the giants of not only Italian football, but also a significant force on the European stage. They may no longer have a Diego Maradona in their squad, but in the form of Marek Hamsik, Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens they have a side that can do some damage.
This season has shown that I Ciucciarelli can compete for the Serie A title, so can you go all the way on Career Mode and lead them back to the Scudetto for the first time in close to 30 years?
Full Napoli squad player ratings
|Mario Rui||26||LB||Portugal||77||78||On Loan||£49k|
|Juan Camilo Zuniga||31||LB LM||Colombia||73||73||£2m||£42k|
|Amadou Diawara||19||CDM CM||Guinea||77||87||£20.1m||£26k|
|Marko Rog||21||CAM CM||Croatia||76||86||£20.9m||£42k|
|Dries Mertens||30||CF LW ST||Belgium||86||86||£64.3m||£119k|
|Emanuele Giaccherini||32||LW CM||Italy||78||78||£12m||£59k|
|Adam Ounas||20||RW LM||Algeria||73||83||£10.9m||£40k|
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