FIFA 19: Barcelona Career Mode Guide, Tactics, Formations & Tips

Barcelona may have a hold on La Liga, but can you take back the Champions League from Real Madrid for the first time in four years this season?


Barcelona. A club that just oozes class. The Catalans are always there or thereabouts when it comes to domestic and European success, making them a safe bet for you FIFA 19 Career Mode. There is also another big factor, the GOAT that is Lionel Messi. With the magician in your squad no opposition defence is safe as you plot to take Barca back to the top of European football.

RealSport is on hand as you set up with the Spanish champions, beginning your FIFA 19 Career Mode. 

Team rating

As you would expect it is a five star rating for Barcelona on FIFA 19, containing an 87 attack, 85 midfield and 84 defence.

Formation

You should stick with the 4-3-3 holding formation used under Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde, although he did use a 4-4-2 for large parts of last season. A 4-3-3 defensive or a 4-3-2-1 are all valid options with the Spanish champions. 

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (90 GK reflexes) is more than reliable in goal, with Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, World Cup winner Samuel Umtiti and Jordi Alba in the defensive line. 

The solid Sergio Busquets (90 marking) protects the back four, with Arturo Vidal and complete midfielder Ivan Rakitic (90 long passing) linking up in midfield. 

The iconic Lionel Messi (96 composure) and tricky Philippe Coutinho (93 balance) flank the lethal Luis Suarez (93 finishing) in attack.

On the bench opt for Jasper Cillessen, Clement Lenglet, Nelson Semedo, Arthur, Rafinha, Ousmane Dembele and Munir.  

Tactics and instructions

The one tricky thing about being Barcelona is that 90% of the teams you play against will sit very deep against you. As a result, you will need to be patient with the ball as you wait for an opening. 

Fortunately, you have midfielders who can control the game with their little finger in Ivan Rakitic (87 ball control) and Sergio Busquets (93 composure), so keeping the ball is no issue. Then look for the runs of Philippe Coutinho, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, with the latter two bound to find the back of the net sooner rather than later.

If the defence is still too stubborn, you have a number of players who can shoot from range. Rakitic, Coutinho, Messi, Suarez and Arturo Vidal all have long shot stats of 85 or higher so don’t be afraid to pull the trigger when within 30 yards. 

Against the bigger opposition, you may have to defend more but expect to find more clean breaks through on goal, suiting your deadly forwards. You also have the raw pace of Ousmane Dembele (93 acceleration) from the bench if you are looking for a change. 

For your instructions, not too much needs to be altered from the default, but you may wish to have Sergio Busquets to ‘stay back while attacking’ just to make sure you have cover on the counter-attack. 

Lionel Messi‘s default support runs are ‘come short’, but you should switch this to ‘balanced support’ so that he can occasionally use his agility and spring in behind the defence. 

Training

In your training sessions you should use high growth players, which are shown by the green icon. With Barca, this includes Ousmane Dembele, Malcom, Arthur, Rafinha, Denis Suarez and Munir.

The Transfer Market

Starting transfer budget: £165 million

Starting wage budget: £424,000 a week

Who should go

Barcelona have a fantastic first team squad, but it is those who are in danger of falling out of that who need to be sold on. Thomas Vermaelen is now the fifth-choice centre back so you should look to free up his £97,000 a week wages and sell him for £3.5 million.

Central midfielder Sergi Samper should fetch you more at £3.8 million, with the youngster unlikely to make the grade with the Catalans. 

Third-choice goalkeeper Inaki Peka and fellow youngster Jorge Cuenca should also be sold, and they should get you a combined £950,000, making a £13,000 a week saving on wages. 

Loans

There are a few promising youngsters at Barcelona, who should be loaned out to get more game time. Right back Moussa Wague should be sent out on a short-term loan, with the situation being reassessed in January. 

Guillem Jamie and Oriol Busquets are still some way off getting first team minutes, so loan them out for the season. 

Who to sign

New transfer budget: £174 million

New wage budget: £595,000 a week

Reserve left back

Jordi Alba is the only first team left back you have, and that needs to be addressed in case he picks up an injury. Thomas Vermaelen can fill in there, and you do also have youngster Miranda, but you need more quality as cover.

Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson is emerging into one of the best left backs on the planet, and you can pick up the Scotland captain for around £35 million and wages of £87,000 a week. His 82 overall can grow to a potential of 87, with the 24-year-old’s best stats his 91 stamina, 87 crossing and 86 sprint speed. 

Alternative options

Player

Age

Club

Country

OVR

POT

Cost

Wage

Grimaldo

22

Benfica

Spain

81

87

£27m

£12k

Benjamin Mendy

23

Man City

France

81

86

£26m

£92k

Jose Gaya

23

Valencia

Spain

80

85

£23m

£29k

Luke Shaw

22

Man United

England

80

85

£22m

£84k

Ferland Mendy

23

Lyon

France

78

86

£20m

£41k

Future star striker

After loaning out Paco Alcacer to Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona now look short in the striking department, especially with Alcacer’s deal now becoming permanent. Munir and the 18-year-old Abel Ruiz are your only two options to play up front outside of the starting lineup.

Manchester City man Gabriel Jesus could be the answer, with the Brazilian destined to become a world-class player. You can snap up the 21-year-old for around £55 million with his wages setting you back £114,000 a week. His stats of 92 agility, 91 balance, and 88 positioning take his overall rating to 83, which can rise to an incredible potential of 92. 

Alternative options

Player

Age

Club

Country

OVR

POT

Cost

Wage

Marcus Rashford

20

Man United

England

82

90

£40m

£106k

Anthony Martial

22

Man United

France

84

90

£55m

£145k

Timo Werner

22

RB Leipzig

Germany

83

87

£42m

£62k

Andrea Belotti

24

Torino

Italy

82

86

£39m

£51k

Inaki Williams

24

Athletic Bilbao

Spain

81

87

£34m

£27k

Contracts

Just three players have contracts expiring at the end of the season for Barcelona, and you should only look to extend one of those deals. Due to your lack of striking options, you will want to keep Munir on board, but you can afford to let the aging Thomas Vermaelen go. As for Jorge Cuenca, his potential is not good enough to keep him at the club. 

Managerial objectives

It’s Barcelona, and a lot is expected. It won’t come as a surprise that domestically you will be expected win both La Liga and the Copa del Rey. Things don’t get any easier in Europe, with a Champions League trophy wanted by the board.

Your brand exposure objective is critical, with £176 million wanted in shirt sales, and a further £317 million expected in prize money over the next three seasons. With names like Messi, Suarez and Coutinho at the club, neither of these should be too difficult.

Barcelona’s academy, La Masia, has a great reputation with Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas all coming through the ranks in Catalonia. You must therefore sign four midfielders to your youth academy.

Conquer Madrid in the league and Europe

Barcelona may have a grasp on La Liga at this moment in time, but they have had to watch on as Real Madrid have claimed the Champions League three times in a row. Barcelona were the last team other than Los Blancos to win the European Cup, but that will be four years ago by the time the next final rolls around. 

Winning it all in your first year is a tough ask, so perhaps target the domestic competitions first. The beauty of La Liga is that you can rest your star players against anyone in the bottom half of the table, which means your big guns should be fresh for when the other competitions roll around. If not this year, then next season the Champions League must be lifted by Barcelona. 

Full Barcelona player ratings

Player

Age

Pos

Country

OVR

POT

Value

Wage

Goalkeepers

Marc-Andre ter Stegen

26

GK

Germany

89

92

£51m

£211k

Jasper Cillessen

29

GK

Holland

82

84

£16m

£119k

Inaki Pena

19

GK

Spain

61

78

£400k

£4k

Defenders

Samuel Umtiti

24

CB

France

87

92

£50m

£180k

Jordi Alba

29

LB

Spain

87

87

£33m

£220k

Gerard Pique

31

CB

Spain

87

87

£30m

£211k

Sergi Roberto

26

RB
RM

Spain

83

86

£23m

£150k

Clement Lenglet

23

CB

France

82

88

£23m

£119k

Nelson Semedo

24

RB

Portugal

81

86

£18m

£110k

Jeison Murillo

26

CB

Colombia

80

84

On Loan

£33k

Thomas Vermaelen

32

CB
LB

Belgium

77

77

£4m

£97k

Moussa Wague

19

RB

Senegal

69

81

£1m

£17k

Miranda

18

LB
CB

Spain

66

81

£1m

£11k

Chumi

19

CB

Spain

65

82

£1m

£9k

Jorge Cuenca

18

CB

Spain

65

78

£700k

£9k

Midfielders

Sergio Busquets

29

CDM
CM

Spain

89

89

£45m

£277k

Ivan Rakitic

30

CM

Croatia

87

87

£41m

£229k

Arturo Vidal

31

CDM
CM

Chile

85

85

£23m

£180k

Athur

21

CM
CDM

Brazil

82

90

£29m

£110k

Denis Suarez

24

CM
LW
RW

Spain

79

84

£15m

£106k

Rafinha

25

CAM
CM

Brazil

82

87

£26m

£145k

Sergi Samper

23

CDM
CM

Spain

73

80

£4m

£61k

Alena

20

CM
RW
CAM

Spain

72

85

£5m

£51k

Riqui Puig

18

CM

Spain

69

89

£2m

£21k

Oriol Busquets

19

CDM
CM

Spain

67

82

£1m

£12k

Attackers

Lionel Messi

31

CF
RW
ST

Argentina

94

94

£97m

£497k

Luis Suarez

31

ST

Uruguay

91

91

£70m

£400k

Philippe Coutinho

26

LW
RW
CM

Brazil

88

89

£61m

£299k

Ousmane Dembele

21

RW
LW

France

83

92

£35m

£136k

Malcom

21

RW

Brazil

82

89

£28m

£123k

Munir

22

ST
RW

Spain

77

83

£11m

£101k

Abel Ruiz

18

ST
LW

Spain

67

83

£1m

£18k

Guillem Jaime

19

RW
RB

Spain

64

80

£1m

£12k

On a tight budget?

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Looking for free players?

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Looking for the best young players?

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Looking for wonderkids?

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Looking for the best players in other positions?

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FIFA 19 Wingers: Best RW & RM in career mode

FIFA 19 Career Mode: Best Strikers (ST & CF)

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Alastair Pusinelli

I am RealSport's Editor-in-Chief having covered almost everything across the board on the platform. Starting with content on football and the Chinese Super League, I have expanded into esports and gaming, via a stint as rugby editor.

With RS now focused on gaming and working alongside Gfinity, I led the site's coverage on the football titles of FIFA, Football Manager and PES. This has enabled me to cover official esports events such as the FIFA eWorld Cup, FUT Champions Cups and the Gfinity FIFA Series.

Elsewhere, I have been published in The Sunday Times and Variety magazine, as well as working in the offices of Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Hampshire CCC.

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