Real Madrid may be enduring a difficult season following the departures of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and three-time Champions League winning manager Zinedine Zidane, but they are still the kings of Europe.
Los Blancos have claimed the Champions League four times in the past five seasons, making them biggest and best club in the world, but there is a case that they are only second best in Spain. They have only claimed the La Liga title once in that period, with only two triumphs this decade, falling behind classy El Clasico rivals Barcelona.
Your task on FIFA 19’s Career Mode is to change this, whilst maintaining this European dominance through a period of change. Real did not address the loss of Ronaldo, and are way off the pace in La Liga.
It’s a five star rating for Real Madrid on FIFA 19, consisting of an 84 attack, 87 midfield and 85 defence.
Real Madrid are well accustomed to a 4-3-3 holding formation, and you should stick with this on your career mode. Alternatives include a 4-3-3 attack and a 4-4-2 diamond, which has been seen occasionally this season.
New signing and World Cup Golden Glove winner Thibaut Courtois (91 GK handling) has you covered in goal, whilst Dani Carvajal, the best defender on the game Sergio Ramos (92 standing tackle), world champion Raphael Varane and Marcelo make the defence.
Casemiro is in defensive midfield, linking up with maestros Luka Modric (93 ball control) and Toni Kroos (92 short passing). Karim Benzema spearheads the attack, with the electrifying Gareth Bale (95 sprint speed) on one flank and tricky Isco (94 dribbling) on the other.
On the bench you should go for Keylor Navas, Nacho Fernandez, Alvaro Odriozola, Dani Ceballos, Lucas Vazquez, Marco Asensio and Mariano Diaz (or Alex Hunter if you’ve completed the Journey).
Tactics and instructions
You have to expect that the opposition are going to camp back against Los Merengues, and Real often going with the attack of throwing numbers forward to break them down. This is risky, with full backs and Sergio Ramos getting involved, so you may want to play around with their tactics to not commit too many players forward.
Only do this in the closing stages (use the mentality slider on the D-pad), as you should have enough quality on the pitch to pick up the three points. Luka Modric (92 vision) and Toni Kroos (93 long passing) will dictate the game, and then it’s just a question if you can find space for your front three.
Get the ball out wide to the attacking full backs, with Marcelo (90 crossing) easily capable of finding Karim Benzema (86 positioning) and Gareth Bale (87 jumping). With Isco (95 ball control) looking to come inside and link up with the midfielders and forwards, and gaps should appear.
You also have the option of shooting from range with Bale, Kroos and Isco all holding long shots of 87 or higher. You also have some quality off the bench, with Lucas Vazquez, Marco Asensio and Mariano Diaz all capable of making a difference.
Whenever you play against the likes of Barcelona or have a big European tie, be sure to slip into a defensive mentality by using the D-pad. If you commit this many men forward against a quality side who are lethal on the counter-attack, you will get caught time and time again.
Instructions go a long way, and you should look to adjust these to make your team more balanced and effective. Defensive midfielder Casemiro should have his attacking runs set to ‘stay back while attacking’ to offer protection whilst the full backs get forward.
Isco isn’t really a winger, so have him set to ‘free roam’ for his attacking runs to get him on the ball more often and give Marcelo room to run down the left wing.
Alter Karim Benzema's support runs to ‘balanced width’ from ‘drift wide’ so you have someone occupying the defenders.
Gareth Bale is your main attacking threat, and you should tweak his defensive support to ‘stay forward’ and support on crosses to ‘get into box for crosses’.
In your training sessions, go for the high growth players to get the most of your time. At Real, these include Raphael Varane, Marco Asensio, Mariano Diaz, Alvaro Odriozola, Dani Ceballos and Vinicius Junior.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £166 million
Starting wage budget: £418,000 a week
Who should go
With Real Madrid also having a B side (Real Madrid Castilla), their first team is pretty tight, and you can see the gulf between the senior players and the fledglings. Out of the main roster, the decision you will have to make is which goalkeeper you want to sell. Thibaut Courtois’s arrival makes 87-rated goalkeeper Keylor Navas’s position redundant, and you could sell him for £24 million and save £172,000 a week in wages. If you like having that cover, then sell Kiko Casilla for £6 million and free up wages of £92,000 a week.
As for the youngsters, look to offload Cristo Gonzalez, Fran Garcia, Fidalgo, Manu Hernando, Luca Zidane, Dani Gomez and Javi Sanchez. They should fetch you around £4 million in total, recouping £96,000 a week in wages.
Although there are no academy wonderkids, a couple of them are worth keeping on the books to sell on in a few years' time. Loan out Sergio Lopez and Francisco Feuillassier to see him they can get closer to their 80+ potentials.
Who to sign
New transfer budget: £194 million or £176 million
New wage budget: £686,000 or £606,000 a week
Promising left back
Marcelo is the only recognised senior full back at the club, with Nacho Fernandez often having to fill in there. Bring in a new understudy who can take the starting place once the 30-year-old Marcelo’s level drops.
Andrew Robertson is perhaps the best choice in the game with the Scotsman’s 82 overall able to rise to 87. The 24-year-old will set you back around £35 million from Liverpool with his wages currently £87,000 a week. His best stats are 91 stamina, 87 crossing and 86 sprint speed.
|Benjamin Mendy||23||Man City||France||81||86||£26m||£92k|
|Luke Shaw||22||Man United||England||80||85||£22m||£84k|
New top class striker
After the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo, Real are crying out for a forward who can pick up 35+ goals a season with Karim Benzema not cutting the mustard. You will need to spend big, but it is time to bring a new Galactico to the Bernabeu.
Eden Hazard has been linked in real life, but you need a number 9, and after a quality World Cup it makes sense to sign Harry Kane to the club. The Tottenham forward has attributes of 94 finishing, 93 positioning and 91 reactions making him lethal in the box, with his overall able to improve from 89 to 91. You will need close to £100 million to sign him and wages upwards of £180,000 a week, but it will be worth it.
|Robert Lewandowski||29||Bayern Munich||Poland||90||90||£83m||£180k|
|Mauro Icardi||25||Inter Milan||Argentina||87||90||£71m||£114k|
|Sergio Aguero||30||Man City||Argentina||89||89||£75m||£264k|
Seven players have deals expiring at Real Madrid, but you will be relieved to know none of these are members of the first team.
Just two players are worth renewing, Francisco Feuillassier and Sergio Lopez, and you are even likely to sell them in the next couple of seasons. Javi Sanchez, Cristo Gonzalez, Fran Garcia, Alvaro Fidalgo and the ex-manager’s son Luca Zidane can all be let go.
It’s nothing but the best for Real Madrid, and with Los Blancos you will be expected to complete the treble for you domestic and continental success objectives. Yes, a fourth successive Champions League title is expected.
Brand exposure is critical, and for this you must sell £176 million’s worth of shirts, this shouldn’t be an issue especially if you bring a new forward to the club.
Youth development has a medium importance, and here you will need to sign four players to the youth academy. They must be one goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and attack each.
Spanish success first, maintaining European dominance second.
It is easy to be sidetracked by the Champions League, especially when you are Real Madrid, but it important you focus on La Liga. With so many weak teams in La Liga, you will be there or thereabouts, and it is vital you have a strong first half of the season to allow you to take your foot off the gas and concentrate on the other competitions.
Look to go all the way in the league and Copa Del Rey, with the Champions League semi-finals your first target. If you make it to the final, you have to back Real’s winning mentality to get them over the line. Can you secure a fourth consecutive European crown with the final taking place in Madrid?
Full Real Madrid player ratings
|Keylor Navas||31||GK||Costa Rica||87||87||£27m||£172k|
|Nacho Fernandez||28||CB LB RB||Spain||83||85||£22m||£158k|
|Fran Garcia||18||LB LW||Spain||64||79||£700k||£8k|
|Isco||26||CAM CM LW||Spain||88||91||£65m||£277k|
|Dani Ceballos||21||CM LM CAM||Spain||81||88||£22m||£106k|
|Federico Valverde||19||CM LM CAM||Uruguay||74||86||£8m||£40k|
|Alvaro Fidalgo||21||CM CAM||Spain||65||75||£800k||£18k|
|Gareth Bale||28||RW ST LW||Wales||88||88||£53m||£312k|
|Marco Asensio||22||LW RW||Spain||84||89||£37m||£172k|
|Lucas Vazquez||27||RW RM||Spain||83||83||£24m||£180k|
|Mariano Diaz||24||ST||Dominican Rep.||80||85||£18m||£123k|
|Vinicius Junior||17||LW RW||Brazil||77||92||£15m||£58k|
|Brahim Diaz||18||LW CF||Spain||69||86||£2m||£25k|
|Cristo Gonzalez||20||ST LM CAM||Spain||66||78||£1m||£23k|
|Francisco Feuillassier||20||LW RW||Argentina||65||80||£1m||£20k|